JAN 02, 2017 11:10 AM PST

Cheetahs Could be Closer to Extinction Than Originally Thought

In a world where animals are finding it harder to cope with the ever-growing human population and over-development of our wilderness, the majestic cheetah could be on even more of a a global decline than originally thought that’s sending them right towards extinction.

The cheetah is in more trouble than originally thought.

Image Credit: National Geographic

Outside of protected areas, where lots of cheetah are known to roam, there’s very little information about the amount still walking the Earth. Additionally, there’s very little we can do to protect cheetah when they’re roaming outside of protected areas, so they’re exposed to more threats while abroad.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and outline the importance of declining cheetah numbers, which are reportedly widespread around the world.

Cheetahs tend to roam a lot, which means the protected area approach isn’t very effective at protecting them. There are estimated to be around 7,100 of these creatures still walking the Earth today, but as many as 77% of them are roaming outside of protected areas, which is alarming.

Outside of the protected areas, these creatures aren’t efficient at repopulating. Since more than ¾ of all wild cheetahs exist in these regions, that would mean only ¼ of the species is repopulating as efficiently as possible. The big picture is cheetah numbers are declining sharply as a result of these factors.

“This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of cheetah status to date,” study lead author Dr. Sarah Durant said. “Given the secretive nature of this elusive cat, it has been difficult to gather hard information on the species, leading to its plight being overlooked.”

“Our findings show that the large space requirements for cheetah, coupled with the complex range of threats faced by the species in the wild, mean that it is likely to be much more vulnerable to extinction than was previously thought,” she continued.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) currently notes the cheetah as “vulnerable,” but the report in PNAS suggests that this might be an underestimation. The wild cheetah could be extremely susceptible to extinction, so the authors believe this title should be escalated to “endangered.”

While there are still a lot of questions, one thing that’s obvious is we’ll need to significantly change the way we tackle cheetah conservation. We’ll have to take a much more aggressive approach if we’re to save the species, because at this rate, things look pretty grim for it.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 24, 2018
Earth & The Environment
AUG 24, 2018
Zookeeper tricks panda mama into caring for her twins
  These baby pandas are only 18 days old and the fact that they're both alive right now is likely only due to the ingenuity and dedication of this...
SEP 17, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 17, 2018
Researchers Quantify How Much Ingested Plastic it Takes to Down a Sea Turtle
Oceanic plastic pollution has developed into a significant issue in recent years. Not only does it dirty up our planet, but it imposes a serious risk to ma...
SEP 20, 2018
Videos
SEP 20, 2018
A Plant 'Nervous System' is Found
Learn more about how plants communicate....
OCT 16, 2018
Earth & The Environment
OCT 16, 2018
Will the EPA let oil companies dump wastewater into our rivers?
The Environmental Protection Agency is currently in considering allowing oil companies to dump wastewater into rivers and streams that many people and anim...
OCT 25, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
OCT 25, 2018
So Why Does Weed Even Have THC?
If you have been following the science on marijuana, you are probably acquainted with the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol      ...
NOV 19, 2018
Videos
NOV 19, 2018
The Amazon's worst enemy
Brazil has a new leader, and he could be the Amazon’s biggest enemy yet. President Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to sell off large portions of the rainf...
Loading Comments...