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11 animals on the verge of extinction

By: Shea Gunther on Dec. 7, 2016, 10:21 a.m.
A cheetah growls in a wildlife preserve

Photo: Martchan/Shuttetstock

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Cheetahs

Do you recognize any patterns? We're good at killing big cats. Cheetahs are fast, but they might not be able to outrun extinction. The cat that can accelerate faster than a muscle car isn't adaptable to habitat change and has recently suffered from genetic degradation due to inbreeding. It's estimated that about around 7,000 cheetahs remain the wild. They have a high infant mortality rate and are losing more habitat every year. Indeed, a 2016 study showed that the cheetah population is limited to about six countries in southern Africa. The same study called on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to changed the cheetah's classification from vulnerable to endangered to spur on a more aggressive conservation effort.