Once found in large numbers across Africa, cheetahs have gone functionally extinct in much of their historic range, with just several thousand left in the wild. The continent’s remaining cheetahs are separated into geographically distinct subpopulations, linked only occasionally linked through dispersal — and the result is a lack of genetic diversity that has hindered their population growth. Expedition Leader Lorraine Doyle talks about about her involvement with cheetah conservation as the wildlife manager of a private game reserve that is part of Endangered Wildlife Trust's cheetah metapopulation program. Sharing stories from her time in the field with cheetah researchers, she explains the fundamentals of cheetah anatomy and physiology and how those affect their hunting style. Since cheetahs require vast tracts of land for hunting, increasing human encroachment on their habitat has led to human-wildlife conflict, creating additional pressure on these already-threatened cats. Lorraine explains why the fate of cheetahs rests in human hands and what we must do to protect this vulnerable species from extinction.
Originally presented June 30, 2021
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