A new study has revealed that just 7,100 cheetahs remain in the world.
Credit: Zoological Society of London
The research revealed that only 7,100 cheetahs remain globally and that the speedy animal has lost 91 percent of its historic habitat range. Due to human development,
cheetahs' habitat decreased from a historical range totaling about 13 million square miles (33,056,767 square kilometers) before 1900, to now only covering about 280,000 square miles (724,514 square km), according to the researchers.
In Zimbabwe, where the cheetah distribution is well-documented, the population has plummeted from 1,200 individuals in 2000 to about 170 individuals in 2016, according to the study. Because of these dramatic losses, the study's authors are urging scientists to change the cheetah's conservation status from "vulnerable" (which means the animal is likely to become endangered unless threats improve) to "endangered" (which means the animal is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, which tracks at-risk species.