Featured: African assasin
It was a time, a cheetah . . .It was a time, a cheetah . . . by ~Lena-Panthera
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|Some may think that the Amur leopard is the rarest cat in the world, but in truth, the Persian cheetah is. With only 60-70 left in the wild and none in captivity, this cat may be extinct next year. however, conservation efforts are taking place. the Indian government plans to breed and release Iranian(Persian) cheetahs into India, where the terrain is easier for them and there is not the constant threat of human war activity.|
the Persian cheetah is hanging on by a hair, if we don't do something soon, we may lose the oldest species of big cat today, the Asiatic cheetah.
~ what to submit ~
you can submit regular (African) cheetah pictures, but we'd love it if you could contribute to the tiny amount of Persian cheetahs on DA and draw your own personal Persian cheetah.
you may submit anything, we don't care about quality or style. (unless its just scribbles on a piece of paper, a.k.a really bad)
any media/concept will be accepted as long as it pertains to genus Acinonyx, the cheetah.
The Iranian cheetahs' history
Before Christ was even born, cheetahs were prized more than any other cat. They were used to hunt antelope for royalty in Asian culture, and were kept to symbolize power and prestige for kings and queens. One Chinese emperor was even said to have 8,000 cheetahs as pets!
That was one of the major reasons Asiatic cheetahs are endangered today. human hunting and capture resulted in one of the most major decline and extinction event in feline history. In less than 100 years, cheetah population in India and china was wiped out clean. Population in Arabia, Iran and 500 sq miles around, declined by 90%.
Before World War II, the cheetah population was estimated to be around 400 and rising, ranging in almost all of the steppes and desert areas of the eastern half of the country and some western terrains near the Iraqi border (Harrington, 1971), but the advent of the jeep after the war marked the beginning of a decrease of this animal, largely through slaughter of their essential prey species, the gazelle (Lay, 1967). As a result, the cheetah population declined greatly in number. In 1956, the former Iranian Game Council declared the gazelle as protected by law and the cheetah too, in 1959. The gazelle population recovered in many areas and so did the cheetah. Cheetah sightings increased in different localities, particularly inside the gazelle habitats, revealing a remarkable resurgence of its population and the efficacy of conservational measures. In the late 1970s, the cheetah population was estimated to be 200-300 for the whole of the country (Firouz, 1976), while some other experts believing it as an over-estimation noted an approximate number of 100, including 30 cheetahs for Khosh Yeilagh area (Joslin, 1984), where cheetah sighting was so common (e.g. in two cases in 1970 and 1973, 13 and 9 animals were seen just during a couple of hours). The cheetah range appeared to include all the desert areas of the eastern half of the country which consists of vast expanses of largely unpopulated terrains.
In 1979, the country witnessed a revolution, which interrupted wildlife conservation for a few years. So many areas were occupied by livestock and the flat plains and steppes became the field of manoeuvre for armed 4WD vehicles and motorbikes chasing desert species, such as Persian gazelle Gazella subgutturosa, Jebeer gazelle Gazella bennettii, onager Equus hemionus onager, and also the cheetah. Gazelles declined in many areas, so the cheetahs had to move toward the foothills and mountainous habitats to avoid human persecution. On the other hand, because of the remarkable reduction in gazelle numbers, the cheetahs had to look for a new food source, wild sheep Ovis orientalis and wild goat Capra aegagrus, which, in their mountain habitat, had not suffered the same pressures as the gazelles. Khosh Yeilagh PA, which was once considered the best cheetah habitat in Asia, was devastated and the last cheetahs were observed in 1983. The cheetah disappeared from many of its former ranges and was limited to some remote areas with a reliable prey population and relative safety.