Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN) Red List of Threatened Species (www.iucnredlist.org) due to their dwindling numbers. The known cheetah population in the wild is approximately 7,500 adult animals. The decline is primarily due to:
- Loss of habitat, due to human encroachment;
- Loss of prey, directly linked to loss of habitat;
- Hunting, there are still people who wish to hunt these beautiful animals;
- Livestock protection, many farmers believe that cheetahs are preying on their livestock, and therefore shoot, trap or poison cheetahs on their land;
- Limited genetic diversity, cheetahs are very inbred as a species, resulting in low sperm counts in males.