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Video: Cheetahs headed towards extinction, wildlife experts warn

© AFP file photo

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-12-30

Cheetahs are in a race for survival, with wildlife experts warning that the world’s fastest land animal is close to extinction.

Experts estimate that there are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the world – a dramatic decline from 100 years ago, when the total population was estimated at 100,000.

So imminent is the threat to their survival that experts are calling for the cheetah to be rated as “endangered". They are currently considered a "vulnerable" species.

Urgent calls to save the cheetah have emerged after a newly published report by the ZSL Zoological Society of London, Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera.

Dr Laurie Marker, founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and a co-author of the report, warned that “we may lose the species during our lifetimes”.

"I've been told to take all the Cheetahs out of here and go away, but people have actually been very genuine. As I've met the people I've said to them, you know I grew up as a farmer,” she said.

The report has linked the cheetah’s decline to several dangers, including the loss of prey due to overhunting, habitat loss and illegal trafficking.

Sarah Durant, the report's main author and project leader for the Rangewide Conservation Programme for Cheetah and Wild Dog, said that the cheetah’s plight had been overlooked.

"Our findings show that the large space requirements for cheetah, coupled with the complex range of threats faced by the species in the wild, mean that it is likely to be much more vulnerable to extinction than was previously thought," she said.

Click on the player above to see the full video report by FRANCE 24 on the endangered Cheetah.

Date created : 2016-12-30

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