Cheetahs face a variety of challenges. Below are some of the biggest, along with conservation methods.
Human-Carnivore Conflict: This is the largest problem – cheetahs roam on privately owned land where livestock are kept. When they choose to go for an easy (cattle) prey instead of game, landowners often want to shoot them to make the problem go away.
- Educating farmers about the importance of carnivores
- Working directly with landowners to implement methods to protect their livestock from predators
- Collar & release: fitting the cheetah with a GPS collar, sending coordinates daily to the farmers to help them protect their cattle as well as help prove cheetahs aren’t causing losses.
Habitat loss & fragmentation: This means that people now live on land that once belonged to the animals. They take grazing land away from wild game by keeping cattle (so livestock and wild game are in competition for grass) or by using the land for agriculture. It’s even worse when fences get put up so that wild animals cannot roam freely between properties anymore – that can result in not enough food (or feeding on cattle, see above) or not being able to mate and procreate.
- Conserving land where possible
- Taking down fences
- Cattle farming methods that allow livestock and game to coexist
Illegal pet trade: Cheetah cubs get taken from the wild in order to be raised as pets for rich people, mostly in the Middle East. Many don’t survive the initial transportation and with each cub being taken, the remaining cheetah population and gene pool shrinks.
- Educating people about not keeping people as pets
- Changing (and/or enforcing) laws about keeping endangered animals
- Prosecuting people who traffic endangered animals
- Make it uncool to own endangered animals