Recently, through an extensive survey, researchers determined that only 7,100 adult cheetahs are left in the wild.
Cheetahs, the fastest land animals on the planet, are facing a staggering drop in numbers in large part due to habitat loss, fragmentation, conflict with farmers and ranchers, and illegal hunting.
“Cheetahs, due to their non-aggressive nature, do not fare well in wildlife reserves and other protected areas, where other predators steal their prey
and kill their young,” said Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). This brings cheetahs into close contact with farmers and other rural Africans, leading to increased conflict. Close to 70% of the remaining cheetah population is found outside of protected areas, with about 50% of the population found in southern African countries.”
Consider this: It is estimated that about 100,000 cheetahs resided in Africa and Asia near the beginning of the 20th century. This number plunged to 15,000 animals in 1975, 10,000 at the start of 2015 and continues to drop at an alarming rate in 2017.
Indeed, without urgent protection measures, this beautiful species faces extinction.
Fortunately, AZA-accredited institutions, like the Phoenix Zoo, have been ahead of the curve. In the last five years alone, the AZA community has invested over $1.2 million in cheetah conservation.
The Zoo participates in the AZA Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program. SAFE is a commitment by all 230 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to harness our collective resources, focus on specific endangered species, and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild.
In regards to the Phoenix Zoo specifically, we’ve provided grant support for cheetah conservation across the species’ range, including projects in Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa.
The Zoo will continue supporting efforts to save the cheetah both locally and globally.
Earn your “spots.” Together, we can save cheetahs, but we must act fast.
To learn more about cheetah conservation and how you can help, click here.