Cheetahs are categorized as Vulnerable but are most likely to move into the Endangered classification quite soon.
There are six classifications. Each has different criteria like population size, geographic range and extinction possibility
The classes are:
Vulnerable: This means there is a big population decline in the wild and the possibility of extinction over the next 50 years
Endangered: the population decline is over 50%, their habitat is shrinking and they are losing amounts due to different threats, like poaching, lack of space, killed by humans
A very reduced population that might not be sustainable for breeding and the possibility of extinction in 10 years
Extinct in Wild: Species only left in captivity
Extinct: None of the species surviving
Cheetahs are endangered as the previous census estimated only 7,500 animals left in only 10 percent of their previous geographical selection. This is due to lack of habitat due to the rise of farmlands taking over their areas. New roads, new cities, new industry. With the loss of habitat means loss of prey species. So sometimes the cheetahs will take farm livestock, such as cows, goats or young cattle.
This makes them enemies of several farmers who will take them on site. Even although the cheetah may only be passing through these lands. Cheetahs have large home ranges, over 500 to 1500 square kilometers and traveling long distances. But as they are diurnal and traveling through the morning and evening, farmers are more inclined to see the cheetahs. The uninformed farmer will shoot them immediately as a pre-emptive measure.
One method educated farmers are using to protect their livestock is by using guard dogs like Anatolian Shepherd dogs. These dogs remain with their flock and protect them from attacks by predators. The cheetah then must revert back to wild prey. However, with the decline in these numbers the cheetah sits with a predicament.
Poaching is a little issue but still a problem. Although protected and the skins not allowed into many countries these skins are still sold on the black market.
Cheetahs do not do well in protected areas since they may become prey to Lions and Hyenas. Both of these species will kill young animals unable to travel with their mom or take the prey killed by cheetahs. Thus the cheetahs more than likely use unprotected places and coming into contact with farmers. A cruel cycle.
1900 Estimate Range and Number: 100,000
2017 Range and Numbers: 7,500
Potential Extinction by 2027?
Are we too late to save an animal that’s taken 4 million years to achieve its present form. We can blame its decrease on a lot of things but man is finally the problem and the solution.