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Endangered Species: The Cheetah Erica Porco & Ashley Miller Cheetah Fact Sheet • • • • • • • Height: 30 inches at shoulder Weight: 69-140 lbs. Body length: 4 ft. Tail Length 28.5 inches Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Acinonyx Species: Jubatus How does this effect us, the environment, and other organisms? • • Many people fear predators like the cheetah but don’t realize that their unique behaviors, special adaptations, and essential roles in the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. The animals that cheetahs hunt (for example gazelles) may become over-populated if this species is eliminated. The Hunting life: The Article • Almost as soon as they can walk, cubs race, and knock each other down and stalk and nip their siblings to develop their skills as successful killing machines. • In order to learn what to eat the mother must kill for her offspring. • Between the ages of 2-3 months cubs begin to accompany their mother on the hunt. • Between 8 months and a year the mother releases about 1/3 of the prey she catches and the cubs, at least occasionally, kill the animals on their own. • A young female will be the first to strike out and begin life on her own, where as males are lazy relying on their mothers and sisters to capture prey for them Nowhere To Run: The Article • Habitat destruction and lion predation on cubs to conflict with human farmers and ranchers have been threatening this species survival. • 20,000 years ago: cheetahs ranged throughout world, including North America and have evolved • 10,000 years ago: at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch cheetah populations dropped dramatically severely reducing the species genetic variability • Today: only about 50 Asian cheetahs survive in the wild. Almost all of them in Iran. African cheetahs are believes to number about 12,500 down from an estimated 100,000 at the end of the 19th century What organizations have joined the cause? • Namibia is an organization founded in 1990. Their mission is to be internationally recognized as a center of excellence in research and education on cheetahs and their ecosystems. It is a proactive organization to find solutions to help people help the cheetah. This is reflected in the cheetah conservation fund vision: “we see a world in which cheetahs live and flourish in co-existence with people and the environment. Projects: education project, conservation projects. • Adopt A Cheetah: from the Tree Frog Trading Co.: The price is $35.00. the package deluxe photo fact sheet and certificate Why Save The Cheetahs? We need to save cheetahs because every animal is part of an ecosystem. You may not know it but cheetahs are already endangered or threatened.