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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 4,206
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

One of the most magnificent animal icons in the world is in greater danger of becoming extinct than anyone realized. The cheetah, known for its incredible agility and top speed of 75 mph, is now racing against the clock for its very survival. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global authority on threatened species, can help prevent this tragedy by upgrading cheetah status on their Red List to "endangered."

An important new study led by the Zoological Society of London, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Panthera has revealed that only 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild. The lead author, Dr. Sarah Durant, calls the study the most comprehensive analysis of cheetah status to date. She adds, "Our findings show that the large space requirements for cheetah, coupled with the complex range of threats faced by the species in the wild, mean that it is likely to be much more vulnerable to extinction than was previously thought."

Those threats are all caused by humans. Habitat fragmentation is the big one - a glaring 77% of cheetah habitat is unprotected today. Other major threats include conflict with livestock, deadly encounters with vehicles, and the deliberate theft of over a thousand cubs to be sold on the black market as high-status exotic pets. 85% of those cubs died after being stolen from their mothers.

The revised population total and the drastic decline of the cheetah population must not be ignored. The IUCN should recognize the gravity of the situation, and immediately raise the cheetah's conservation status from "vulnerable" to "endangered." The IUCN Red List is a vital tool that governments around the world use to allocate funding and resources to needed conservation efforts. This update will directly encourage the international community to strengthen protections for the cheetah, and could be the very key to their survival.

Nobody wants to see cheetahs disappear from the world forever. Tell the IUCN to act now.

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Dear Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General:

The recent in-depth study of the global cheetah population conducted by the Zoological Society of London, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Panthera has revealed that the species Acinonyx jubatus is in greater danger of extinction than any of us realized. The current status of "vulnerable" is based largely on approximations that assume that the total population is over 10,000 individuals. It also assumes a decline of 30% over the last 3 cheetah generations.

The new study clearly shows that the species' decline is actually much greater than expected. 77% of cheetah habitat is unprotected. This leaves the 7,100 remaining individuals severely vulnerable to habitat loss, conflict with livestock, hunting, deadly encounters with vehicles, and poaching of cubs to feed the black market's exotic pet trade. Zimbabwe's cheetah population is a telling example, plummeting from over a thousand animals to just 170 in 16 years. That's a staggering 85% population loss.

The current population reduction rate based on this study would appear to fit the criteria for an "endangered" status, and the extinction probability in the near future is also higher than previously assumed. Surely this qualifies the cheetah, an iconic species, for the protections afforded by an official IUCN status of "endangered." Such a designation would help the international community to strengthen protections for the species, which could be the key to their very survival.

Please reevaluate the cheetah's status for the Red List, and change it from "vulnerable" to "endangered." We all want to see this species survive for future generations.

Petition Signatures

Mar 29, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 29, 2017 Agnes Losonczi
Mar 29, 2017 mara Fernández
Mar 29, 2017 Russell Riley
Mar 29, 2017 Marjorie Thiellin
Mar 29, 2017 Barbara Miles
Mar 29, 2017 Samantha Cooch
Mar 29, 2017 Åsa Dautaj
Mar 29, 2017 John Garcia
Mar 29, 2017 Madeleine Oliveland
Mar 28, 2017 Carmen Rocco
Mar 28, 2017 Karen Van Tuyle
Mar 28, 2017 Melanie Huisman Save the cheetahs!
Mar 28, 2017 Janice Bernard
Mar 28, 2017 Kara Walmsley
Mar 28, 2017 Elizabeth Aguirre
Mar 28, 2017 sandra Berding
Mar 28, 2017 Rosina Cespedes
Mar 28, 2017 Jenice Minamide
Mar 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 28, 2017 Jane Rosa
Mar 28, 2017 Erika McLeod
Mar 28, 2017 Kelly Nestelroad
Mar 27, 2017 Kelly Davidson
Mar 27, 2017 Ines Raimondo
Mar 27, 2017 Melinda Bailey
Mar 27, 2017 josilda josilda
Mar 27, 2017 detelina guecheva
Mar 27, 2017 GENNY DOMEDI
Mar 26, 2017 tracy Amrani
Mar 26, 2017 Marsha Croner
Mar 25, 2017 Laurie Fisher
Mar 25, 2017 Setsuko Maruki-Fox
Mar 25, 2017 Lydia Johns
Mar 25, 2017 JANEL COHEN
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 Alice VanKoevering
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 25, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 24, 2017 Suzanne Hamer
Mar 24, 2017 Pamela Rogers
Mar 24, 2017 Claudia Hartwig
Mar 24, 2017 Tilly Vandevenne
Mar 24, 2017 Giovanna Perini-Folesani
Mar 23, 2017 Kurt Phillips
Mar 23, 2017 Polly Ruddle Please save these magnificent creatures so future generations can enjoy them.
Mar 23, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Mar 23, 2017 Sarah Mac Crossan

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