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The Saharan Cheetah according to MammalMAP
The Saharan Cheetah (also known as the Northwest African Cheetah; Acinonyx jubatus hecki) differ from sub-Saharan cheetahs in several ways. They’re smaller, with coats that are shorter, whiter and have spots that fade from black (around the spine) to brown (around the legs). Their faces have fewer spots, and sometimes lack tear stripes. These majestic and sleek animals have also adapted their behaviour to the incredibly arid and hot Sahara Desert by becoming more nocturnal than their sub-Saharan counterparts. Their total population is believed to number 250 individuals, and they are classified by the IUCN as Critically Endangered. However, this is – at best – a guestimate, and remarkably little is known about these elusive animals. In an attempt to improve knowledge of the numbers, whereabouts and conservation concerns of Saharan Cheetahs, researchers from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Office du Parc National de l’Ahaggar (OPNA), in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Panthera, set out a 2800 sq km camera trap survey of the central Sahara. The images that these camera traps have taken have been nothing short of remarkable, and demonstrate how exceptionally useful camera traps can be. For more information visit the MammalMAP virtual museum or blog.