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article imageCheetahs could disappear from the wild by 2030, says experts

By Owen Weldon     Apr 24, 2013 in World
The cheetah, the world's fastest land animal, may have survived mass extinction around 10,000 years ago during the last ice age, but experts are warning that the animal could disappear from the wild by 2030.
According to RawStory, Cheetahs are not targets of poaching, unlike rhinos and elephants. However, the animal has not adapted too well in wildlife reserves as its natural habitat is becoming wiped out.
According to The Jakarta Globe, Laurie Marker, of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Nambia, said that the big cats face increased competition from other large predators, such as hyenas and lions, which do very well in protected areas.
According to TimesLive, the global cheetah population was around 100,000 in the early 20th century, but now there is barely 10,000 in the wild today, most located in Africa with a small population in Iran.
Big cat NGO Panthera says that cheetahs have disappeared from 77 percent of their original territory located throughout Africa. Panthera says that by 2030, cheetahs will disappear from the wild.
Aside from not being able to thrive in protected areas, other factors that are contributing to the problem is that 90 percent of cheetahs in Africa live alongside humans. Cheetahs are often in conflict with farms that have livestock.
Natural inbreeding that dates back to the last ice age is also another handicap that the cheetah faces. Every single cheetah that is alive today is as closely related, basically as if they were twins. According to Cheetah Conservation Fund, this has led to a genetic bottleneck.
Some game farm owners are still trying to save the big cat, regardless of the odds. One farm owner, Damien Vergnaud, owns a 10,000 hectare Inverdoorn private reserve. He is hoping that three cheetahs will be released in a totally wild environment, and hopefully with minimal human interaction.
More about Cheetahs, Disappear, Wild
 
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