Cheetah

Endangered Animals of the Middle East

Description

The cheetah is a fast and furry cat. It grows to be about 5 feet long and 145 lbs. It communicates via meows, squeaks, and chirps. It also communicates with other sounds and ears and teeth just like most housecats.(guide)

Adaptations

The cheetah, when in a full-out sprint to catch its favorite food, can reach a top speed of about 103 kilometers per hour.(IUCN) It can accelerate from 0 to 45 kilometers per hour in three seconds.(csd) It hunts during the daylight to reduce competition with nocturnal predators.(IUCN) It will stalk its prey until it is about 20 meters away, then break from cover.(guide)

Habitat

The cheetah generally lives in Africa and has been illegally imported in cub form to the Middle East.(IUCN) It tends to prefer savanna grassland with enough cover for itself but not enough for its predators or prey to hide from it.(guide) It used to roam throughout Africa and much of the Middle East, but now is restricted to Southern and Eastern Africa.(IUCN)

Food Chain

The cheetah mostly eats hoofed animals weighing greater than 90 lbs, such as gazelles and wildebeest young. However, it is also prey. Cheetah cubs frequently fall prey to hyenas, and even the adults can easily be killed by a much larger lion or leopard.(nzoo)
Cheetah Chasing Lure Exercise Running 75mph Cincinnati Zoo

Conservation Information

The cheetah is currently listed as Critically Endangered in northwest African and is probably extinct in many parts of the Middle East. This is due to hunting because they attack livestock in Africa and captures for use as hunting animals in the Middle East.(IUCN) However, steps are being taken to ensure the cheetah's survival. Captive breeding programs unfortunately have, for the most part, been unsuccessful. Another approach being taken is to use guard dogs to protect livestock, eliminating the excuse to kill the cheetah for property damage. This has met with significantly greater success. (Marker) However, guard dogs and similar techniques are not yet widespread, and the longer we wait, the harder it will be for the cheetah to make a comeback. That is where donors like you come in. With your help, we can prevent conflict with Namibian and other farmers who put their property first. Help us protect the fastest land mammal on Earth!