Cheetahs heading towards extinction as population crashes
(EBC; December 27, 2016) - The sleek, speedy cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction according to a new study into declining numbers.
The report estimates that there are just 7,100 of the world's fastest mammals now left in the wild.
Cheetahs are in trouble because they range far beyond protected areas and are coming increasingly into conflict with humans.
The authors are calling for an urgent re-categorisation of the species from vulnerable to endangered.
According to the study, more than half the world's surviving cheetahs live in one population that ranges across six countries in southern Africa.
Cheetahs in Asia have been essentially wiped out. A group estimated to number fewer than 50 individuals clings on in Iran.
In Zimbabwe, the cheetah population has fallen from around 1,200 to just 170 animals in 16 years, with the main cause being major changes in land tenure.