This majestic cat is a Cheetah – the world’s fastest land mammal! Cheetahs are currently under threat from human-wildlife conflict, illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss.
As human populations grow and expand, agriculture, roads, and settlements destroy the open grasslands that Cheetahs call home. Total cheetah populations have been estimated to be only 6,674 adults and adolescents. There is a low density of the cat across its range, meaning it needs larges areas of connected habitat for their survival. The majority of known range (76%) exists on unprotected lands leaving populations extremely fragmented, which is cause for concern for their future.
Organizations like the African Wildlife Foundation are working to save the Cheetah by taking actions such as engaging with local communities to create sustainable solutions for agricultural and settlement growth by providing incentives and training on best practices. This allows for both big cats and farmers to have space in which to live without encroaching on one another. They also work with local communities to construct bomas—enclosures for livestock that protect them from big cats, and provide consolation funding to farmers who have lost livestock to predation by Cheetahs. This allows farmers to replace lost livestock, with the assurance they will not retaliate against big cats and other carnivores.
Lis saw Cheetahs in the wild in Namibia and was in awe of them 🙂
Photo: Ben Cranke/Remembering Cheetahs