Cheetah population crashes, raising threat of extinction
The world's cheetah population is crashing, leaving the world's fastest land animal approaching extinction, according to new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. There are now about 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, the report said, down from an estimated 100,000 at the end of the 19th century. Cheetahs once roamed Africa and Asia, but they have lost an estimated 91 percent of their habitat. Most of the remaining cheetahs are in Africa, with about 50 remaining in Iran. In Africa, 14 of 18 groups studied were decreasing. Zimbabwe's cheetah population has fallen from 1,200 to 170 in 16 years. [USA Today, CNN]
The Week at http://theweek.com/10things/662478/10-things-need-know-today-december-27-2016
My thought: I'm still reading Sapiens and the first section, about how humans absolutely devastated the megafauna of every continent and island, is still reverberating through my consciousness. The extinction of many species, including the wooly mammoth and the sabre tooth tiger, immediately followed the introduction of our species to a land mass. We are still causing extinctions. You would think that we'd make an effort to sustain at least token populations of the more charismatic species. Instead it appears that the great white hunter would rather have one on his wall than to keep them alive in the wilds. As the political reality in the US turns even uglier, I have less and less respect and care for my own species. We may extinct ourselves, but that would be good for many other species.