Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
Subfamily: Felinae — lynx, bobcat, caracal, puma lineage (includes cheetah), fishing cat, ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, serval
Species: Acinonyx jubatus (Schreber, 1776)
*Subspecies: A. j. hecki
*Subspecies may be further merged in the future.
Head/Body Length: 112-135 cm (44-53 inches)
Tail Length: 66-84 cm (26-33 inches)
Weight: 39-65 kg (86-143 lbs)
Coat: Tawny to light brown with white underparts. Small and large, solid black spots. Regional variants exist.
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Widespread in southern and eastern Africa; a small population persists in Iran.
Habitat: Semi-open country with cover.
Population in Wild: approximately 7,100 individuals (2017 estimate)
Speed: 64 mph (103 kph)
Activity Cycle: Diurnal, most active in daytime between 07:00-10:00 and 16:00-19:00.
Social Groups: Males may form coalition groups; females are solitary except when caring for cubs.
Communication: Wide variety of calls. Males use urine and feces to delimit territory.
Predators: Lions, hyenas, and humans
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Sexual Maturity: Females mature at 21-22 months; males at 2.5-3 years.
Gestation: 90-98 days
Litter Size: 3-4 usual; up to 8
Birth Weight: 150-350 g (0.33-0.77 lbs)
Longevity: 21 years in managed care (longest known)
© 2002-2018 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor updates 2009, 2012, 2015. Taxonomy and population estimates updated Sep 2018.
How to cite: Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) Fact Sheet. c2002-2018. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ cheetah. (note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)
Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation (2018)
Detailed resource on many aspects of cheetah conservation: history of conservation, cheetah-human relationships, evolution, threats to survival, etc. Table of Contents available here.