Cheetah Conservation Efforts
Due to the fact there the Cheetah has very low numbers there are aggressive acts in place for conservation. There are many reasons why these numbers are dropping so low. They include the destruction of their natural habitat, a lack of food for them to prey upon, and poaching. When you add in the problems they have genetically the outlook for them isn’t too good.
Even so, many people aren’t ready to give up on them. They strive to educate the public about the need for them to remain on Earth. They are part of a balanced ecosystem and if they are eliminated it could create serious problems for other animals. The fact that their natural habitat continues to be depleted is due to human efforts.
The building of homes and businesses out there in the wild is a common reason. You have farmers and ranchers that want to use that same land for their own needs. Then they kill the Cheetah when it comes too close for their comfort. They also will kill them due to the fact that their own livestock are becoming meals for the Cheetah.
There is a lack of natural food sources in the wild today for the Cheetah. This is also due to the fact that humans are coming in and disrupting the natural balance of things. These animals are either dying out or they are moving to new locations. Even if the Cheetah was to follow them they aren’t very adaptable to new environments.
Poaching is a very serious issue and continues even though it is illegal. Many of the villagers around Africa are fearful of the Cheetah. They will kill them so that they don’t fall victim first. They also take bribes from farmers and ranchers to kill them off on their behalf.
Part of Cheetah conservation involves making sure that the land where they are found today remains available to them. The goal is to limit anymore expansion into these areas. They also don’t want to see any more land being cleared out, especially the forest. Otherwise the depletion of the natural food source for the Cheetah will continue to disappear.
Part of conservation efforts for these animals also involves stricter penalties for those found to be involved with poaching. A combination of fines as well a jail time are in the works. Yet it can be hard to enforce those laws. The problem is that it is usually someone working for the real operation that gets caught. They are removed but then that operation just hires someone else to fill that role and the poaching continues.
To help the Cheetah to survive there are practices in place to help them with breeding. The males have a low sperm count so it is hard for them to impregnate the females. The genetics are also very closely related so there are serious health problems. The young are born very weak and they can die from sickness.
Programs in captivity can help to protect the young too. They are often victims in the wild of various predators. By taking the young from the wild there is an increased chance that they will survive. The risk of inbreeding is also something to worry about in the wild. Some things that have been noted due to this include tails, teeth, and limbs that are bent in ways other than their natural anatomy should be.
Since 1990 the Cheetah Conservation Fund has been the leader in these efforts. Many believe without them taking on such a role these animals would already be extinct. There is still plenty of work that has to continue though if these animals are going to be able to increase enough in numbers to be taken off of the risk status.