n Africa Insight - Cheetah conservation in South Africa

Volume 39, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Cheetahs should be conserved as drivers of biodiversity conservation and as instruments of nature based tourism development. Only 7 500 cheetahs remain worldwide and their numbers continue to decrease. The species is currently listed as vulnerable, but is close to re-listing as endangered. In South Africa the distribution has shrunk from covering the whole country with the exception of forest to a narrow band along the Northern border from Kgalagadi to Kruger. In addition, 38 fenced reserves have successfully reintroduced the cheetah. The main threats in South Africa are direct persecution, loss of prey base and habitat, illegal trade and inbreeding. The cause for persecution is a perceived conflict with livestock and wildlife ranching.

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