Are cheetahs suitable for hunting in groups

Cheetahs: Protected areas offer limited protection

Cheetahs are incredibly fast, there is no faster animal on land. This is what the spotted big cats have specialized in in the course of evolution - so highly specialized that other things become a problem. This is also the reason why cheetahs are not necessarily in good hands in protected areas.

In a world where habitats are dwindling faster than you can see and in which we have to fear for impressive species such as elephants, lions and rhinos - in this world protected areas are one of the most important achievements. Without them, many animals and plants would no longer exist today.But as important as protected areas are for most species, pure conservation area work does not go far enough to save cheetahs.

Cheetahs: K.o. after the sprint

Cheetahs are extremely successful hunters. Your tactic is to sprint quickly. They can accelerate to almost 100 kilometers per hour within three seconds. The entire body is adapted to this and is more reminiscent of that of a greyhound than a cat. Cheetahs are narrow, long-legged and light.But the enormous speeds cost a lot of strength. If a cheetah kills an animal after a sprint - preferably small antelope species - it does not eat immediately. He lacks the breath for this. First, the exhausted cheetah has to rest for about half an hour. During this time, however, he runs the risk that stronger predators will dispute his prey.And not only that.

Danger to your prey and your own life

The cheetah has a chance in combat against very few of its food competitors. It is not only much lighter and therefore weaker than, for example, lions, spotted hyenas and leopards. Its teeth are also the smallest among the big cats: in order to be able to absorb more oxygen during fast hunting and then to better regulate body temperature, cheetahs have greatly widened nasal passages.These take up a lot of space in the skull. Their physical inferiority makes the spotted predators themselves, and especially their young, easy prey.

Most of the remaining cheetahs now live on large farmland areasthat line up in the savannah of southern Africa. Not without reason: their worst enemies, lions and spotted hyenas, have already been exterminated here. In protected areas, however, these enemies accumulate and with them the danger, if not one's own life, at least of losing food.A maximum of ten percent of the cheetah's habitats are now in national parks and only extremely large protected areas are suitable at all. Because the fast big cats need a lot of space, they are among the animals with the largest roaming areas on earth. Despite the presence of lions and spotted hyenas, very extensive protected areas can be an important refuge for the cheetahs. But their number will remain limited by the competition.That is why the endangered species has to be protected where it is: on the land of the Namibian cattle farmers.

The WWF supports an extraordinary conservation project in Namibiawhich, through research, information and awareness-raising work, protects the cheetahs on the farmland from being exterminated here, like their competitors.

Defuse the conflict between humans and animals and protect the cheetahs!

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