Do cheetahs live in the rainforest?

Cheetahs do not live in the rainforest. The map below shows you where the cheetah lives on the African continent and in Iran and Azerbaijan. I made it from IUCN Red List information. The distribution is incredibly fragmented due to human activities of various kinds which erodes their habitat and destroys their lives. Their distribution is for ever decreasing so this map became out of date as soon as it was created eleven years ago. However it is accurate enough for the purposes of this article.

Cheetah in semi-open landscape
Cheetah in semi-open landscape. Photo in public domain.
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There is rainforest in Africa and for that reason I have published a picture below of the cheetah’s distribution alongside another illustration which shows where the rainforest is in Africa. You can see that they don’t overlap which is unsurprising because the cheetah is an animal of open country. This cat is ‘strongly associated with grassy plains, open woodlands and semi-desert’. This cat can also live in the sandy and rocky landscape of the Sahara where they hide from the sun behind rocks and bushes. Where there is more cover such as in the Masai Mara Reserve of East Africa they use ‘moderate cover for both hunting and resting’ (quotes from Wild Cats of the World page 24).

ribution and rainforest in Africa
ribution and rainforest in Africa. Collage: PoC. Maps: Mine on left and in public domain on right.

The cheetah is definitely NOT created to live in the jungle such as the rainforest as it catches prey with speed in open areas of the landscape. The cheetah could not use its extraordinary speed, upon which it relies to hunt, in the jungle. It simply could not catch enough prey if it lived it rainforest. There are very many videos on the internet of cheetah chasing down prey such as small Thomson’s gazelles. The picture on this page provides a flavour of their hunting style.

It is worth noting that the rainforests of the world including those in Africa are also being destroyed by human activity. It is commercial activities such as mining for minerals and rare metals for computer and smartphone construction and plantations such as soya and palm oil. The forest has to be cleared to make way for these commercial enterprises. This destroys the home of many wild animals.

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