Dating the genetic bottleneck of the america cheetah

Today there are fewer than 20 000 cheetahs living in southern and eastern Africa.

Difficulties in breeding the animals prompted a detailed study, which revealed that there is very little genetic variation between individual cheetahs.

“Most protected areas are unable to maintain viable cheetah populations.” In the early 20th century, the global cheetah population was around 100,000 with populations throughout Africa, the Middle East, and several Asian countries.

There are barely 10,000 in the wild today in Africa, and a small population in Iran which is critically endangered.

“The main limitation to the survival of the species in the wild is reduction and fragmentation of habitat as well as human wildlife conflict,” Marker said.

If no special measures are taken, wild cheetah will disappear by 2030, according to Panthera.

This low genetic variability is considered to be the result of a bottleneck at the end of the Pleistocene [10 000–12 000 years ago (ya); O’Brien 1987; Menotti-Raymond & O’Brien 1993; O’Brien & Johnson 2005] and has been offered as a possible explanation for the population decline.

They emphasize a controversy to which we alluded in our article [] and they offer an alternative explanation to the scenario we had suggested for the time and place of demographic events that preceded modern African cheetah populations. A primitive Late Pliocene cheetah, and evolution of the cheetah lineage. Molecular genetic insights on cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) ecology and conservation in Namibia. Cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction globally and critically endangered in their Asiatic range, where the last 70–110 individuals survive only in Iran.We demonstrate that these extant Iranian cheetahs are an autochthonous monophyletic population and the last representatives of the Asiatic subspecies We advocate that conservation strategies should consider the uncovered independent evolutionary histories of Asiatic and African cheetahs, as well as among some African subspecies.

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