The beautiful Cheetah now only has 7,100 animals left in the wild. In some areas, their numbers are very low. For example, in Zimbabwe, there are only 160 Cheetahs left.
Zimbabwe highlights the drastic decline that the animal has faced. Just 16 years ago, there were 1,200 Cheetahs in Zimbabwe, today just 160 remain.
The sharp decline in Cheetah numbers has left conservationists to class the species as endangered. Instead, of vulnerable. By classing the Cheetah as endangered, more serious measures and protections can be put in place to save the animals.
The survival of the species largely lies in conserving them in Africa. They have virtually been wiped out in Asia – only 50 are estimated to remain in Iran.
The main threat to Cheetahs is humans. Being hunted for bush meat is a major reason for their decline. There is also the threat from the illegal trafficking of Cheetah cubs, which is responsible for their decline.
Cheetah cubs being sold on the black market does not receive converge that the illegal ivory trade has. Perhaps if more coverage was given to it, then it could be prevented more. It is thought that Cheetah cubs stolen illegally can be sold for as much as $10,000.
Protections have been put in place in South Africa. The South African government has agreed to put measures in place to stop social media advertising of the trade.
The move is an encouraging one, however, it doesn't go far enough. If there is to be a serious effort in trying to save the Cheetah, then things such as giving more protected land to the animal, and stopping the bush meat trade are needed.