The asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is a subspecies of cheetah roaming mainly in Iran. Having once been thousands of them from Arabian peninsula to India, they are now extinct in a majority of those locations. In fact, cheetah is a direct derivation from the Sanskrit word Chitraka, or “spotted one.”
They hunt like their other cousins, using their speed as a key skill to make a kill. They also eat similar hoofed animals, such as wild goats and gazelles. Some consider them migratory cats due to their tendency to move around in search for food.. But males often have a strong hold to their territory. Females, on the other hand, don’t mind roaming in search of proper meals. Little is known about their breeding habits, but it’s been documented that peak breeding may be in winter months.. Although it’s also been noted they can reproduce year round.
With little genetic variability, there is a high mortality rate in cubs. Loss of prey + habitat combined with poaching and the constant threat of inbreeding has led to the demise of this subspecies population.. With only 50-60 individuals thought to be living today, the IUCN has declared this species critically endangered. There are quite a few conservation projects going on in an attempt to save them. These are supported and funded by a variety of wonderful groups such as the Felidae Conservation Fund and Panthera.