Conservation Status

IUCN: Vulnerable  |  CITES: Appendix I  |  ESA: Endangered

State of the Species

Image of a graph illustrating the decline of "Range-Wide Cheetah Population"

The cheetah is a uniquely wide-ranging cat.  They roam over massive areas, which requires conservation efforts on a similarly large scale.  Cheetahs are found in 29 known subpopulations, few of which support a large number of animals.  Ongoing population declines have resulted from a suite of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, illegal trade in cheetah cubs and persecution resulting from conflict with humans and their livestock.

The Need for SAFE

Image of Cheetah conservation infographic

Between 2010 and 2014, 46 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums reported taking part in a variety of field conservation projects benefiting cheetahs. In those five years alone, the AZA community invested over $1.2 million in cheetah conservation. See AZA's Conservation and Research Database for more information.

Despite the tremendous efforts AZA members and partners have committed toward saving the cheetah, the species is still declining at an alarming rate and there is a clear need to approach conservation differently.  AZA SAFE provides a new approach for collaborative conservation.  Using a One Plan approach,  conservationists working to save a species work together to identify and prioritize the conservation needs of a species and then develops a 3-year Conservation Action Plan (CAP).  Each AZA SAFE Conservation Action Plan includes specific projects, goals, and actions that will address the needs of each species.

Learn more about the individual projects that comprise the AZA SAFE Cheetah Conservation Action Plan.

AZA Animal Program Leaders 

Felid TAG Chair: Don Goff, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo
Felid TAG Vice Chair:
Cheryl Morris, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
SSP Coordinator:  Adrienne Crosier, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
SSP Vice Coordinator:
 Dusty Lombardi, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Studbook Keeper:
Erin Moloney, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Felid TAG Education Advisors:  
Shasta Bray, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, and Karen Povey, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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