Something is wrong if one species can drive all other species off the planet

If you believe in God, he/she got it wrong. If you believe in evolution and nature, it got it wrong too. One species, the human, is driving all other species off the planet starting with the most beautiful and most rare.

I know a bit about wild cat conservation and world cat population numbers. We all know about the precariously endangered tiger and the rapid decline in lion numbers. Now the latest conservation catastrophe to hit the newspapers concerns the glorious cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal. It is this iconic status which makes it more endangered than it otherwise would be in part because rich Arabs like to keep them as pets. This translates to steeling cubs from the wild.

Cheetah cub
Sweet cheetah cub
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The shockingly rapid decline in world cheetah numbers is entirely due to human activity, mainly farmers and hunters in Africa.

The cheetah has a large home range (its territory). There is not enough space left in Africa to give this species of wild cat the unfettered territory it needs to survive and so it shares its land with the land of farmers resulting in the inevitable clash of desires and objectives. The cheetah kills livestock and the farmer kills the cheetah.

Snares rip off cheetah limbs, poachers trade in cheetah skins and as mentioned wealthy Arabs pay big money for cheetah cubs. Africa has many treasures one of which is its wildlife. The African in often poor. The rich in Asia and the West pay handsomely to hunt the cheetah, or to buy its skin. The pressure from commerce is so high that is it impossible to see how conservationists can protect this wild cat.

Especially when the organisation/treaty (CITES1) designed to stop trade in wild animals and their body parts grants 50 licenses to Zimbabwe to hunt and export the cheetah. This is madness because it is in Zimbabwe where a third of all cheetahs used to live but now due to changes in farm management and land use the cheetah population has slumped to 170 from 1,200 in 16 years (source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). Zimbabwe has the worst record for cheetah conservation. This is unsurprising considering Mugabe runs the country and it is the country where an American dentist and his cohorts killed Cecil the lion without sanction.

Cheetah and offspring
Cheetah and offspring

The cheetah has been driven out of 91% of its historic territories. You may have read that only an estimated 7,100 exist on the planet. I have also read that there were over 100,000 at start of the 1900s.

Hunters, usually I regret to say from America, pay a trophy fee of between $3,000 and $6,000 to hunt one.

The problem of conservation is exacerbated by the low fertility rate of this cat. Nature, too, makes it hard for the cheetah to survive but this would not be a problem if humans left them alone. Other predators such as the hyena steal their kills and kill their cubs.

I believe it is going to be impossible to provide safe havens for this cat because, as mentioned, their territory is so large and Africa as I recall has one of the world’s fastest growing human populations. The African human population and associated destructive commercial activity is expanding rapidly pushing all other species off this continent. Something has gone terribly wrong. The human has failed the planet and nature.

Note: 1 — Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Flora and Fauna

5 thoughts on “Something is wrong if one species can drive all other species off the planet”

  1. Whenever I see people congratulated for having another baby, or parents who are basically still kids themselves, dragging 3, 4 or 5 kids around town, I cringe as I think the same thing. Too many people. Television also continues to crank out the tear-jerking formula episodes of our favorite sit-com actors “growing up” and “having the baby”. I’m so tired of it. It’s a cultural thing too. In the Mexican culture I see little girls indoctrinated heavily to live to become mommies at an early age, as they are even called “little mommy” at like 5 years old. I know all cultures do this but it’s to the exclusion of everything else in this one. I personally never had kids and have felt “out of the club” in most social circles.

  2. I’ll get in trouble here. The issue isn’t that humans are so bad and wicked just that there are way too many. Reduced birth rate will fix just about everything from extinction of animal species to global warming and war and bigotry. We are all fighting for a smaller and smaller piece of the pie. There used to be a movement called zero population growth.

    • Agreed. I like a lot of people an so on, but the human race as a whole are going about things incorrectly. And one aspect is the the continually rising population. This is unsustainable. It is thoughtless. It’s mainly in poorer countries. Germany has a declining population for instance. Humans are a sort of a disease on the planet. We have to start controlling birth rates. And we have to put aside the idea of permanent economic growth and think about stable flat-lining economies and greater international cooperation. That’s what I think for what it is worth.

  3. No one could have said it better. I don’t know that it’s ever been said better. I feel exactly the same way, and have all my life. It didn’t take the crisis it is now for me to have seen this coming. I’m not smart, just observant. It’s just math, maybe a little algebra and the willingness to see humans for what they are. Just shaking my head in sorrow, but nothing pisses me off more.


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