First Global Summit To Save The Cheetah

15 Feb 2024

The beautiful Cheetah with its characteristic black spots and black facial marks is an endangered species and needs protection. The first ever global Cheetah Summit held recently in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, discussed various measures to save the declining population.

The cheetah is the fastest animal on land. Namibia boasts a Cheetah population of some 2,000 animals, which live mostly outside protected areas.

Today, the total free-ranging population is estimated at 7,100 adults and adolescents distributed across 33 populations in 19 African countries, including Iran. Most populations are found in some of the most arid landscapes, living near some of the poorest communities in the world. Cheetah populations continue to decline, according to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), which is based in Namibia.

The 130 participants of the Cheetah Summit in Addis Ababa.
Photo: CCF


“The immediate threats to cheetahs are habitat loss and fragmentation, loss of prey base, direct persecution due to human-carnivore conflict, and illegal trade; with climate change and human population growth exacerbating these threats at an accelerating rate.” The Executive Director of the CCF, Dr. Laurie Marker told the summit.

“The species’ documented genetic uniformity could compound these threats in the smaller, isolated populations, which will continue to decline and disappear if conservation actions are not implemented,” she said.

According to the CCF, which gave feedback in February about the summit which took place from 28 to 31 January, with 130 participants agreeing to establish an international Cheetah Foundation. It will inter alia raise funding for more scientific research on Cheetahs and conservation efforts. Also, the Addis Ababa Declaration for Global Cheetah Conservation was drafted and accepted.

The Declaration calls for more involvement of local communities where Cheetahs roam and international and regional strategic plans to improve conservation activities for the species. It also calls for the establishment of a Cheetah Grant Programme to support individual groups at grass root level who are involved in Cheetah conservation.

The participants at the summit decided to hold a virtual conference in July 2024 to report on progress. 

Brigitte Weidlich

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