Saving the Cheetahs of the Serengeti from Extinction
Cheetahs have been evolving and adapting themselves to the deserts of the Serengeti for many years. However, cheetahs have never been common in the wild, but they're now in grave danger of becoming extinct, due to loss of habitat, high infant mortality, and hunting by humans for hides. Cheetahs can and should be saved because they have a difficult time surviving on there own due to poor parenting skills, cub mortality, and energy demands. The cheetah is also a very important part of the ecosystem and will be disrupted if the cheetah becomes extinct. Saving the cheetah is very important for their niche as well the niche of others. This amazing creature needs to be saved.
There are many factors that surround the life and survival of the cheetah and it’s young. When a mother has a litter of cubs it puts a lot of stress on her to be able to provide them with food. A mother might leave her young for up to forty-eight hours while she is looking for food to help maintain her milk supply. If the mother is not able to find enough food for lactation she will abandon her cubs. This poor parenting behavior results in an increase in infant mortality rate because the young are left unprotected while she is searching for food. Poor parenting behavior is a large part of cub mortality during the first year, which leads to the decline in the cheetah population. During the first four months of a cheetah’s life they are very immobile and when left alone they are very susceptible to predators, and due to this only nine percent will survive. Cub mortality increases after the first four months because the cubs become more visible. They are leaving the home and are very uncoordinated, have poor vision and are unable to distinguish between friends and predators. If an effort was put forth to save the cheetahs from extinction a great deal of the energy and money would have to go toward the protection of these young cubs. If more than one out of every twenty cubs would survive the population of the cheetah would increase (as long as the birth rate is higher than the death rate) and save it from extinction.
Another huge part of the decline of the cheetah is due to the high energy demands that are needed when a mother has a liter. A female cheetah will live alone until she has her cubs. Living in solitary can be hard because they will spend more energy and time being observant against predators. When a female is lactating she needs twice the amount of food as a non-lactating female, however it is harder for her to acquire this food. If she is not able to obtain this much food then milk production will be reduced and she will begin to use fat tissue and muscle. When saving the cheetah a lot can be done to help a mother get enough food for her young so that the cub mortality rate decreases. If mothers had a way to get food for their young...