Earlier, the cheetah used to be found across entire Africa, the Middle East and most parts of Asia. However, due to indiscriminate hunting and poaching, and lost of habitat, the cheetah, today, lives mostly in the southern region of Africa. There are a small number of cheetahs living in northern parts of Africa as well as Iran. However, in Iran, the cheetah is nearly extinct and conservationists are trying to prevent this.
Today, the biggest population of cheetah is present in Namibia and Botswana, and then in Tanzania and Kenya.
The cheetah can easily adapt to the environment it lives in. While grasslands, savannahs and mountains can sustain cheetahs, this big cat prefers to live in a place where it can hunt. Hence, the best place for a cheetah is a semi-desert region where there is ground cover as well as open space for the chase. The ground cover allows the cheetah to approach its prey undetected, while the open space allows it to chase down the prey.
While the cheetah uses its speed to get food, it is also its defense mechanism to protect itself from predators. If it feels threatened, the cheetah will take off like lightening before its predator realizes what is happening.
Today, the region where the cheetah lives is under threat and this is causing its number to dwindle. Man and his activities are causing desertification, which is leading to loss of habitat. Also, growing human population is reducing the habitat where the cheetah used to flourish once upon a time. Increased agriculture and introduction of livestock is reducing the prey. Once the prey leaves the place as sufficient grazing grounds are not available, even the cheetah has to leave.Another reason for dwindling cheetah population is indiscriminate hunting. As more prey is hunted, the cheetah's food source reduces. Furthermore, even the cheetah is being hunted for its pelt. Poaching as well as legal hunting is a serious threat to the cheetah.
More Articles :
- Facts About Cheetahs
- How Fast Can A Cheetah Run ?
- What Do Cheetahs Eat ?
- Where Do Cheetahs Live ?
- Why Are Cheetahs Becoming Extinct ?
- Why Are Cheetahs So Fast ?