Is the Fastest Land Dwelling Creature a Cheetah.
Almost the Author
Sydney was a summer intern with AWF. She is entering her senior year of high school and has a passion for wildlife conservation. She hopes to one 24-hour interval be a wildlife vet.
I have to admit, I’yard not usually a big fan of cats. Just, for whatsoever reason, I cannot help but exist captivated by cheetahs. Maybe it’s their grace and agility or mayhap it’south just the confront of a chetah cub, but I retrieve these cats are incredible.
Cheetahs are the earth’due south fastest state animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 70 mph. Standing at about 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 110 and 140 pounds, they have long, graceful legs; a small, rounded head on a long neck; a very flexible spine; a deep chest; special pads on their feet that assistance with traction; and a long tail that is used for balance at top speed. The cheetah is also the only true cat that cannot retract its claws, providing more traction. They as well have distinctive black “tear tracks” that run from the corner of each eye to their mouth and provide anti-glare protection for daytime hunting.
In curt, cheetahs are built for speed, grace, and hunting.
Cheetahs mainly prey on pocket-sized antelopes such as Thomson’s gazelles and impalas, although they will also hunt modest mammals and birds. When a cheetah hunts, information technology gets as shut as possible to its casualty before trying to outrun information technology with a burst of speed. The cheetah then uses its paw to swipe the animal to the ground and and then suffocates it with a bite to the neck.
Information technology and so eats as quickly as possible while looking out for scavengers such as lions, leopards, hyenas, vultures, and jackals, who will steal from the very shy cheetah.
Unlike nigh other cats, cheetahs prefer to hunt during the day, especially early morning or early evening.
Most of the time, cheetahs are lonely animals. On occasion, a male will hang out with a female subsequently mating, but other than that, the female is either with her cubs or past herself.
Cubs spend a long fourth dimension with their mothers as they learn to hunt. Mom volition bring a small, live antelope back to her cubs and then they can chase and catch it.
Unfortunately, there is a very loftier cub mortality rate among cheetahs. Approximately l-75% dice in the first three months of life because they are so susceptible to disease and predators such equally eagles, hyenas, and lions.
Cheetahs are currently classified every bit “vulnerable” by the IUCN. In 1900, an estimated 100,000 cheetahs could be found beyond Africa. Now, at that place are most 7,500 adults left in the wild; the population has decreased past well-nigh 30% just in the past 18 years.
The high cub mortality rate is merely ane problem for cheetahs, though; they too face a lot of human being-wild fauna conflict and habitat loss.
Over the years, the cheetah’southward habitat has shrunk dramatically, and it is now only 25% of its former size. Where they practise live (mostly Eastern and Southern Africa), they tend to exist found widely but sparsely.
Cheetahs live where their prey is: the open plains. However, as the human populations grow and people expand agriculture and civilization into the grassland, more than and more than of the cheetahs’ habitat is disappearing.
The other problem cheetahs are currently facing is human-wild animals conflict. As people expand into the cheetahs’ habitat, their usual prey is disappearing likewise, forcing them to casualty on livestock. This causes farmers to view them as pests and kill them in retaliation.
To assistance combat these problems, AWF is working to engage communities and minimize human being-wildlife disharmonize.
By teaching communities that share infinite with cheetahs how to farm and expand sustainably and providing incentives for using the all-time practices, AWF is encouraging the people and animals are able to coexist peacefully. AWF is as well helping to construct predator-proof bomas (livestock enclosures) to forbid the livestock from equally much impairment as possible. When cheetahs do impale livestock, farmers are given consolation funding then that they can replace the dead animal without having to seek revenge against the cheetahs.
In addition, AWF is also working to ready aside land for conservation to ensure the cheetah will always take a identify to alive. When the Satao Elerai Club was opened in Republic of kenya, the local Maasai community who owns the guild agreed to set aside the surrounding area for conservation, and at present the business and the state is thriving.
Also in Republic of kenya, AWF is working with landowners in the Amboseli region to ready bated country to create a wildlife corridor between Amboseli National Park and Chyulu Hills and Tsavo Westward National Park. By paying landowners for each acre set aside for wildlife, AWF is making certain that animals can continue to utilize their traditional routes without coming into harm’southward way.
Past working with the people who live side by side with cheetahs, we can aid make sure these majestic creatures will exist around for generations to come.
All photos courtesy of Robyn Gianni
Is the Fastest Land Dwelling Creature a Cheetah