Cheetahs Essay, Research Paper
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 with out leaving them exposed in the wild then they would be less open to predators.
The cheetah is also a very important part of its ecosystem in the Serengeti and if they were to become extinct it would have an enormous effect on that ecosystem. If the cheetah was to become extinct many problems could arise in the Serengeti. With the extinction of the cheetah there would be an over population of the Thompson gazelle, which is the main food source for the cheetah. The extinction of the cheetah would also disrupt the food chain, the cheetah is the a food source for animals such as lions and tigers. Research can be done to discover how the extinction might hurt the ecosystem. From that information ways in which the species can be saved might be obtained.
A niche encompasses every thing that allows a population to live, grow and reproduce, for an entire lifetime. The niche concept can change with the needs of the animal as they grow and change. For a cheetah this includes such things as where they live, other cheetahs, and predators and prey. If the cheetah were to become extinct it would not only ruin their niche it would ruin the niche of other animals that rely on the cheetah as well. Animals like lions and hyenas, which rely on the cheetah for food. The Thompson gazelle, which also relies of the cheetah, needs the cheetah to keep them from overcrowding.
Over fifty percent of the cheetah population lives in solitary, while the rest of the population lives in groups of two to three. Since they mostly live by themselves it makes it more difficult to catch prey, especially when a mother as cubs. Cheetahs living alone only kill prey once every two to three days, which shows that they are not great hunters. Living along give cheetahs a disadvantage at life, they cannot rely on others for help. Research could be done to see if cheetahs live in larger groups are they more successful when they hunt. Cheetahs that live in solitary should be help so they have a higher survival rate and therefore, increase the population of cheetahs.
Cheetahs are amazing animals, that are known for their amazing speed and their gorgeous fur, and who have adapted themselves to life in the dry plains of the Serengeti. Despite all of the adaptation s that they have made the population of the cheetah is declining. With the extinction of the cheetah comes damage to all the other animals that the cheetah interacts with. The ecosystem of the Serengeti along with the niche of many different plants and animals would be in danger with the extinction of the cheetah. Cheetahs are animals that need our help in being saved because they have not evolved enough to keep themselves alive with out outside help. Even though it would be costly to save them, it would be more costly to lose them. Without the cheetah we would be depriving the world of a magnificent animal, therefore it can and should be saved.