Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Endangered animals - Cheetah

Cheetah is the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds between 112 kilometers per hour (70 mph) and 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) with acceleration from 0 to 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph) in just three seconds. In Hindi word "chita" means "the spotted one".

These beautiful animals weigh from 40 kilograms (88 lb) to 65 kilograms (140 lb) when adult, and live primarily on African plains.

They are great predators and their favorite food are antelopes although they often lose their meal because of larger predators such as lions and hyenas.

Cheetah - The fastest land animal

Cheetahs are endangered mostly because of humans constricting their habitats by invading with agricultural lands and deforestation practices which reduce the quality and quantity of space the Cheetah has to hunt in (and yes also prey). This also reduces the area it has to breed, hunt and seek refuge from lions and hyenas Poaching is also big problem as with the most other African predators.

Another problem is that cheetah cubs have high mortality rate as a result of genetic factors and predation by larger carnivores such as lions and hyenas. Although large numbers of young Cheetahs die in the first six months of their lives, their mortality is not the most significant contributor to a declining Cheetah population. In fact it is the death of adult Cheetahs that is most attributed to the falling numbers of Cheetahs in the wild.

Also many people dislike cheetahs because they are predators, and because many people fail to see full importance of their role in given ecosystem, and their important role in food chain. This attitude has to change if we want to ensure survival of cheetahs in years to come.

Cheetahs are already extinct in most of Asia and hopefully this will not happen in Africa. There are only about 12000 cheetahs left in Africa.

1 comment:

  1. cheetahs are really fast and are my favorite animal