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Scientists call for cheetahs to be listed as Endangered

11 / 12 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

A year ago, scientists reported that cheetahs had disappeared from across 91 percent of their historic range. The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), the researchers recommended in their study, should be up-listed from Vulnerable to Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Doing this could afford the imperiled species greater attention and support, they said. The cheetah, however, remains officially listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Now, in a new study, scientists have called for up-listing the species to Endangered yet again. By analyzing millions of cheetah observations, a team of researchers have concluded that only about 3,577 adult cheetahs remain in southern Africa–within an area of 789,800 square kilometers across Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. More than 55 percent of these cheetahs live in Namibia alone, the researchers reported in the study published in the journal PeerJ. “This is the area with the largest population of free-ranging cheetahs left on Earth,” co-author of the study Varsha Vijay of Duke University said in a statement. “Knowing how many cheetahs there are and where they occur is crucial for developing suitable conservation management plans for the species.” Cheetahs have disappeared from across 91 percent of their range. Photo by Udayan Dasgupta/Mongabay. The researchers also estimate that there could be an additional 3,250 cheetahs living in potential habitat areas, or places where cheetahs can possibly live but where they have not been observed recently. But the team has lower confidence in this estimate. “We know about three and a half thousand…

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