The Cheetah population has declined 10 times, from 100,000 to a meagre 10,000 in past century. Scientists thought earlier that main reason behind this population fall is bigger cat’s monopoly, but a new study suggests, global warming and human activity are the major cause for decrease in population of Cheetah. The study was published in Journal Science. The diminishing population is cause of worry for environment enthusiast and government agencies.
We have seen loss of biodiversity and increase in global warming in recent years that has forced cheetahs to travel farther distances to find their prey, according to researchers. Earlier researchers thought that cheetah spends most of the energy while travelling and bigger cat’s monopoly collectively might have been the major cause for dwindling population.
The new study found that in reality cheetahs do not use more energy than other same-animals while travelling, in fact, cheetah spends most of their energy while searching for prey.
For the study, researchers observed 19 wild cheetahs for two weeks in two sites in southern Africa, in Kalahari Desert and the second area was a wetter one. They were injected with heavy water and then were tracked and their feces were also collected. The feces samples helped the study researchers know how much heavy water cheetahs were losing every day and their energy expenditure also. Michael Scantlebury from Queen’s School of Biological Sciences was of the view, “What we found was that the cats’ energy expenditure was not significantly different from other mammals of similar size – cheetahs may be Ferraris but most of the time they are driving slowly”.
Global warming has became a major cause of concern today, many species including Lions, Tigers and several are in danger of getting extinct as humans are continuously converting forest into “Concrete Forest” which further decreases region to travel and numbers of prey for these endangered species.
And another report this week found that there has been a 40% decline in animal populations since the 1960s.