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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 4,402
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

Apr 22, 2017 Mary Hurley
Apr 22, 2017 bob petermann All animals need protection from man's encroachments
Apr 22, 2017 Rebecca Bennett
Apr 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 22, 2017 Sarah Amaral
Apr 22, 2017 Christine Ciempola
Apr 21, 2017 Ruth Gold
Apr 21, 2017 Prairie Moser
Apr 21, 2017 Jill Kuch
Apr 21, 2017 Micki Courtoreille
Apr 21, 2017 Brittney Coles-Webb
Apr 21, 2017 graciela kries
Apr 21, 2017 Carolina Jimenez
Apr 21, 2017 Caroline Williams
Apr 20, 2017 Karen West
Apr 20, 2017 Erika Ranzi
Apr 20, 2017 Katharine Riddle
Apr 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 20, 2017 Teresa Cowley
Apr 20, 2017 Nina Røstad
Apr 19, 2017 Dawn Ciszar
Apr 19, 2017 Hannah Crone
Apr 19, 2017 Vicki Barnes
Apr 18, 2017 Kim Lacost
Apr 18, 2017 Jerri Berg
Apr 18, 2017 Colleen Bashore
Apr 18, 2017 Helga S.
Apr 17, 2017 Tanya Salof
Apr 17, 2017 Yana Atanasova
Apr 17, 2017 Heather Voss
Apr 17, 2017 anne golding
Apr 17, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Apr 17, 2017 nerea herrero
Apr 17, 2017 Ginger Hill
Apr 16, 2017 Miguel de Bethencourt
Apr 16, 2017 Lanette Norris
Apr 16, 2017 Suzanne Marienau
Apr 16, 2017 Esther Mirjam ten Wolthuis
Apr 16, 2017 Charlotte Vrancart
Apr 16, 2017 Jacqueline Manders
Apr 16, 2017 Herbert Staniek
Apr 16, 2017 Mark Turner
Apr 16, 2017 Marilyn Graziano
Apr 16, 2017 Joan How
Apr 15, 2017 Kim Peterson
Apr 15, 2017 sara Elkins
Apr 15, 2017 kate zabkiewicz
Apr 15, 2017 Nathan Fisher
Apr 15, 2017 chaz berlusconi
Apr 14, 2017 Karen Webb

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