Cheetah

Scientific name

Acinonyx jubatus

Weight

20 to 72 kilograms (45 to 160 pounds)

Size

1 to 1.5 meters in length (45 to 60 inches) 76 centimeters at the shoulder (30 inches)

Life span

Maximum recording of a female living 14 years and 5 months in the wild and about 10 years for a males.

Habitat

Wide range of habitats—from dry forests and thick scrubs through grasslands and Sahara deserts.

Diet

Carnivores

Gestation

About 3 months

Predators

Eagles, humans, hyenas, lions

Range depletes
2.26%
annually
Approximately
6,674
adults remain in the wild
Only about
5%
of cubs survive to adulthood
Cheetah

Challenges

Human-wildlife conflict threatens their survival.

Cheetahs tend to encounter conflict with farmers when the decline of their natural prey leads them to attack livestock, resulting in farmers killing them in retaliation.

Habitat loss also presents a major threat to cheetahs.

As human populations grow and expand, agriculture, roads, and settlements destroy the open grasslands that this big cat calls home. Total cheetah populations have been estimated to be 6,674 adults and adolescents. There is a low density of the cat across its range, meaning it needs larges areas of connected habitat for their survival. The majority of known cheetah range (76 percent) exists on unprotected lands. This leaves populations to be extremely fragmented, which is cause for concern for their future.

Illegal trade is threatening wild populations.

Live cheetahs are caught and traded illegally to the exotic pet trade and they are also poached for their skin. The East African region is where illegal live trade is most likely to have the greatest negative impact on wild populations. Although the exact origin of the trade is unclear, information from interdictions and interviews with traders suggests that cheetahs are opportunistically collected from Somali regions, including parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, and occasionally beyond.

Solutions

Our solutions to protecting the iconic cheetah before it becomes endangered:

Community Involvement
Work with communities.

We engage communities to create sustainable solutions for agricultural and settlement growth by providing incentives and training on best practices. This allows for both cheetahs and farmers to have space in which to live without encroaching on one another.

Animals
Minimize human-wildlife conflict.

AWF provides both proactive and reactive strategies to prevent human-wildlife conflict. We work with local communities to construct bomas—enclosures for livestock that protect them from big cats like cheetahs. We also provide consolation funding to farmers who have lost livestock to carnivore predation. This allows farmers to replace lost livestock, with the assurance they will not retaliate against big cats and other carnivores.

Cheetah
Cheetah

Habitats

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