Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation

Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation

Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes

1st Edition - November 28, 2017

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  • Editor: Philip Nyhus
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128040881
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128041208

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Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation reports on the science and conservation of the cheetah. This volume demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of research and conservation efforts to study and protect the cheetah. The book begins with chapters on the evolution, genetics, physiology, ecology and behavior of the species, as well as distribution reports from range countries. These introductory chapters lead into discussions of the challenges facing cheetah survival, including habitat loss, declining prey base, human-wildlife conflict, illegal trade, and newly-emerging threats, notably climate change. This book also focuses on conservation strategies and solutions, including environmental education and alternative livelihoods. Chapters on the role of captive cheetahs to conservation and the long-term research of the species are included, as are a brief discussion of the methods and analyses used to study the cheetah. The book concludes with the conservation status and future outlook of the species. Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation is a valuable resource for the regional and global communities of cheetah conservationists, researchers, and academics. Although cheetah focussed the book provides information relevant to the study of broader topics such as wildlife conservation, captive breeding, habitat management, conservation biology and animal behaviour.  Cover photograph by Angela Scott

Key Features

  • Includes chapters by the world’s leading cheetah researchers and practitioners, who have focused their efforts on this high-profile species of conservation concern
  • Provides findings as a combination of scientific detail and basic explanations so that they can be available not only to cheetah researchers and conservationists, but also to policy makers, business leaders, zoo managers, academics, students, and people interested in the cheetah and its future
  • Presents the current knowledge of the species, helping lay the foundations and best practices for cheetah conservation and research worldwide
  • Additional protocols and forms (which were provided by authors) can be found at the Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation companion site:


The regional and global community of cheetah conservationists and researchers, academics and students in the fields of wildlife conservation, captive breeding, habitat management, conservation biology, and animal behavior, and decision makers in governments within cheetah range states. Specific chapters will interest a diverse audience, including readers interested in conservation genetics, ecology, behavior, captive breeding, community conservation, human-wildlife conflict, and related topics

Table of Contents

  • Foreword

    Stephen O'Brien

    Section 1: The Cheetah

    1. A Brief History of Cheetah Conservation

    Laurie Marker, Jack Grisham, Bruce Brewer

    2. History of the Cheetah–Human Relationship

    Benison Pang, Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr., Amy Dickman, Laurie Marker

    3. The Cheetah: Evolutionary History and Paleoecology

    Blaire Van Valkenburgh, Benison Pang, Marco Cherin, Lorenzo Rook

    4. Cheetah Rangewide Status and Distribution

    Laurie Marker, Bogdan Cristescu, Tess Morrison, Michael V. Flyman, Jane Horgan, Etotépé A. Sogbohossou, Charlene Bissett, Vincent Van Der Merwe, Iracelma B. De Matos Machado, Ezequiel Fabiano, Esther Van Der Meer, Ortwin Aschenborn, Joerg Melzheimer, Kim Young, Mohammad S. Farhadinia, Mary Wykstra, Monica Chege, Samna Abdoulkarim, Osman G. Amir, Ahmed Sh Mohanun, Osman D. Paulos, Abel R. Nhabanga, Jassiel L.J. M’soka, Farid Belbachir, Zelealem T. Ashenafi, Matti T. Nghikembua

    5. Asiatic Cheetahs in Iran: Decline, Current Status and Threats

    Mohammad S. Farhadinia, Luke T.B. Hunter, Houman Jowkar, George B. Schaller, Stephane Ostrowski

    6. Conservation Genetics of the Cheetah: Genetic History and Implications for Conservation

    Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Desiré L. Dalton, Marilyn Menotti-Raymond, Ezequiel Fabiano, Pauline Charruau, Warren E. Johnson, Simone Sommer, Laurie Marker, Antoinette Kotzé, Stephen J. O’brien

    7. Cheetah Specialization: Physiology and Morphology

    Julie Meachen, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Holly Haefele, Gerhard Steenkamp, James M. Robinson, Marcela Randau, Natasha Mcgowan, David M. Scantlebury, Nikki Marks, Aaron Maule, Laurie Marker

    8. Ecology of Free-Ranging Cheetahs

    Laurie Marker, Bogdan Cristescu, Amy Dickman, Matti T. Nghikembua, Lorraine K. Boast, Tess Morrison, Joerg Melzheimer, Ezequiel Fabiano, Gus Mills, Bettina Wachter, David W. Macdonald

    9. Behavior and Communication of Free-Ranging Cheetahs

    Bettina Wachter, Femke Broekhuis, Joerg Melzheimer, Jane Horgan, Elena V. Chelysheva, Laurie Marker, Gus Mills, Tim Caro

    Section 2: Conservation Threats

    10. Drivers of Habitat Loss and Fragmentation: Implications for the Design of Landscape Linkages for Cheetahs

    Richard M. Jeo, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Jonathan D. Ballou, M. Sanjayan

    11. The Status of Key Prey Species and the Consequences of Prey Loss for Cheetah Conservation in North and West Africa

    Laurie Marker, Thomas Rabeil, Pierre Comizzoli, Hayley Clements, Matti T. Nghikembua, Matt W. Hayward, Craig J. Tambling

    12. The Impact of Climate Change on the Conservation and Survival of the Cheetah

    Matti T. Nghikembua, Flavio Lehner, Wilbur Ottichilo, Laurie Marker, Steven C. Amstrup

    13. The Costs and Causes of Human-Cheetah Conflict on Livestock and Game Farms

    Amy Dickman, Niki A. Rust, Lorraine K. Boast, Mary Wykstra, Louisa Richmond-Coggan, Rebecca Klein, Moses Selebatso, Maurus Msuha, Laurie Marker

    14. Pets and Pelts: Understanding and Combating Poaching and Trafficking in Cheetahs

    Patricia Tricorache, Kristin Nowell, Günther Wirth, Nicholas Mitchell, Lorraine K. Boast, Laurie Marker

    Section 3: Conservation Solutions

    15. Use of Livestock Guarding Dogs to Reduce Human-Cheetah Conflict

    Amy Dickman, Gail Potgieter, Jane Horgan, Kelly Stoner, Rebecca Klein, Jeannine Mcmanus, Laurie Marker

    16. Improved and Alternative Livelihoods: Links Between Poverty Alleviation, Biodiversity and Cheetah Conservation

    Mary Wykstra, Guy Combes, Nick Oguge, Rebecca Klein, Lorraine K. Boast, Alfons W. Mosimane, Laurie Marker

    17. Coordination of Large Landscapes for Cheetah Conservation

    Larkin A. Powell, Reinold Kharuxab, Laurie Marker, Matti T. Nghikembua, Sarah Omusula, Robin S. Reid, Andrei Snyman, Chris Weaver, Mary Wykstra

    18. Cheetah Conservation and Educational Programs

    Courtney Hughes, Jane Horgan, Rebecca Klein, Laurie Marker

    19. Protected Areas for Cheetah Conservation

    Bogdan Cristescu, Peter Lindsey, Olivia Maes, Charlene Bissett, Gus Mills, Laurie Marker

    20. Cheetah Translocation and Reintroduction Programs: Past, Present, and Future

    Lorraine K. Boast, Elena V. Chelysheva, Vincent Van Der Merwe, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Eli H. Walker, Deon Cilliers, Markus Gusset, Laurie Marker

    21. Global Cheetah Conservation Policy: A Review of International Law and Enforcement

    Kristin Nowell, Tatjana Rosen

    Section 4: Captive Cheetahs

    22. History of Cheetahs in Zoos and Demographic Trends Through Managed Captive Breeding Programs

    Laurie Marker, Kate Vannelli, Markus Gusset, Lars Versteege, Karen Z. Meeks, Nadja Wielebnowski, Jan Louwman, Hanneke Louwman, Laurie B. Lackey

    23. The Role of Zoos in Cheetah Conservation: Integrating Ex Situ and In Situ Conservation Action

    Karin R. Schwartz, Markus Gusset, Adrienne E. Crosier, Lars Versteege, Simon Eyre, Amanda Tiffin, Antoinette Kotzé

    24. Clinical Management of Captive Cheetahs

    Ana Margarita Woc Colburn, Carlos R. Sanchez, Scott Citino, Adrienne E. Crosier, Suzanne Murray, Jacques Kaandorp, Christine Kaandorp, Laurie Marker

    25. Diseases Impacting Captive and Free-Ranging Cheetahs

    Karen A. Terio, Emily Mitchell, Chris Walzer, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Laurie Marker, Scott Citino

    26. Nutritional Considerations for Captive Cheetahs

    Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, Ellen S. Dierenfeld, Anne A.M.J. Becker, Geert Huys, Sarah Depauw, Katherine R. Kerr, J. Jason Williams, Geert P.J. Janssens

    27. Reproductive Physiology of the Cheetah and Assisted Reproductive Techniques

    Adrienne E. Crosier, Bettina Wachter, Martin Schulman, Imke Lüders, Diana C. Koester, Nadja Wielebnowski, Pierre Comizzoli, Laurie Marker

    28. Communicating the Conservation Message—Using Ambassador Cheetahs to Connect, Teach, and Inspire

    Suzi Rapp, Kate Vannelli, Linda Castaneda, Annie Beckhelling, Susie Ekard, Cathryn Hilker, Janet Rose-Hinostroza, Alicia Sampson, Michelle Lloyd, Linda Stanek

    Section 5: Techniques and Analyses

    29. The Use of Remote Camera Trapping to Study Cheetahs: Past Reflections and Future Directions

    Ezequiel Fabiano, Lorraine K. Boast, Angela K. Fuller, Chris Sutherland

    30. Spoor Tracking to Monitor Cheetah Populations

    Lorraine K. Boast, Linda Van Bommel, Leah Andresen, Ezequiel Fabiano

    31. Mining Black Gold—Insights from Cheetah Scat Using Noninvasive Techniques in the Field and Laboratory: Scat-Detection Dogs, Genetic Assignment, Diet and Hormone Analyses

    Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Claudia Wultsch, Lorraine K. Boast, Birgit Braun, Leanne Van Der Weyde, Bettina Wachter, Rox Brummer, Eli H. Walker, Katherine Forsythe, Laurie Marker

    32. Field Methods for Visual and Remote Monitoring of the Cheetah

    Femke Broekhuis, Charlene Bissett, Elena V. Chelysheva

    33. Capture, Care, Collaring, and Collection of Biomedical Samples in Free-Ranging Cheetahs

    Laurie Marker, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Ruben Portas, Amy Dickman, Kyle Good, Axel Hartmann, Bogdan Cristescu, Joerg Melzheimer

    34. Citizen Science in Cheetah Research

    Esther Van Der Meer, Femke Broekhuis, Elena V. Chelysheva, Mary Wykstra, Harriet T. Davies-Mostert

    35. Social Science Methods to Study Human–Cheetah Interactions

    Niki A. Rust, Courtney Hughes

    36. Spatial and Landscape Analysis: Applications for Cheetah Conservation

    Richard M. Jeo, Leah andresen

    37. Now You See them, Soon You Won’t: Statistical and Mathematical Models for Cheetah Conservation Management

    Sandra Johnson, Bogdan Cristescu, Jacqueline T. Davis, Douglas W. Johnson, Kerrie Mengersen

    38. A Review of Population Viability Analysis and Its Use in Cheetah Conservation

    Bogdan Cristescu, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel, Karin R. Schwartz, Carl Traeholt, Laurie Marker, Ezequiel Fabiano, Kristin Leus, Kathy Traylor-Holzer

    Section 6: The Future

    39. The Conservation Status of the Cheetah

    Sarah M. Durant, Nicholas Mitchell, Rosemary Groom, Audrey Ipavec, Rosie Woodroffe, Christine Breitenmoser, Luke T.B. Hunter

    40. What Does the Future Hold for the Cheetah?

    Laurie Marker, Lorraine K. Boast, Anne Schmidt-Küntzel

Product details

  • No. of pages: 596
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: November 28, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128040881
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128041208

About the Series Editor

Philip Nyhus

Philip Nyhus is the Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Colby College in Maine, Maine, US. His interdisciplinary research bridges the natural and social sciences to address human interactions with the environment, including endangered species conservation and recovery, human-wildlife conflict, large landscape conservation, and spatial modelling. He is co-editor of Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics and Conservation of Panthera tigris (2010).

Affiliations and Expertise

Environmental Studies Program, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, USA

About the Series Volume Editors

Laurie Marker

Dr. Laurie Marker (DPhil) is a leading expert on the cheetah and Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), the longest running conservation organization dedicated to cheetah survival. From CCF’s International Field Research and Education Centre in Namibia, Dr. Marker develops range-wide solutions to problems threatening the world’s fastest land mammal in collaboration with researchers and conservationists from all over the globe. Dr. Marker earned her DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford’s WildCru, and has published more than 100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals encompassing cheetah genetics, biology, ecology, health and reproduction, human impact, and species survival. She is an A.D. White Professor-at-Large with Cornell University, chairs the Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia, serves on Panthera’s Cat Advisory Council, and is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Cat Specialist (core) Group, as well as the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and Veterinary Specialist Groups. Dr. Marker has received many awards for her research contributions and scientifically-based conservation strategies, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award, and the Ulysses S. Seal Award for Innovation in Conservation.

Affiliations and Expertise

Cheetah Conservation Fund, Conservation Biology, Otjiwarongo, Namibia

Lorraine Boast

Dr Lorraine Boast (PhD) began a career in cheetah conservation in 2006 with Cheetah Conservation Botswana. Coordinator of the project ‘s research program from 2008 to 2011, she has experience in a broad range of monitoring techniques and their application to cheetahs, including spoor tracking, camera-trapping, scat analysis, questionnaires and mark and recapture. As coordinator of the project’s field base on Botswana farmland, she gained first-hand experience of the complexities of human-cheetah conflict and its mitigation, and completed her PhD on predator conflict on game ranches in 2014. Dr Boast currently resides in China where she is a visiting academic researcher at Beijing Forestry University; her main research interests are big cat conservation focusing on human-wildlife conflict and illegal trade.

Affiliations and Expertise

Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Conservation Biology, Gaborone, Botswana

Anne Schmidt-Kuentzel

Dr. Anne Schmidt-Küntzel (DVM, PhD) is the Assistant Director for Animal Health and Research for Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), for which she established the Life Technologies Conservation Genetics Laboratory in 2008. She earned her DVM in 2002 from the Veterinary School of Liège in Belgium, and her PhD in Genetics in 2007 from The George Washington University in Washington D.C., under the mentorship of conservation geneticist Dr. Stephen O’Brien. Dr. Schmidt-Küntzel carries out research on a variety of endangered species using techniques ranging from non-invasive genetics to biomedical questions. Her main focus is the status of cheetah genetics and its consequences for conservation, and she was a member of the international collaborative research team responsible for mapping the cheetah genome in 2015. Dr. Schmidt-Küntzel shares her time between CCF’s International Field Research and Education Centre in Namibia and the Washington D.C., metropolitan area of the United States, where she is a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institute.

Affiliations and Expertise

Cheetah Conservation Fund, Conservation Genetics and Veterinary Medicine, Otjiwarongo, Namibia

Ratings and Reviews

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  • DeborahLake Wed Jan 29 2020


    I’m still reading it. It’s very thorough and very interesting to read. I’m really enjoying my purchase.

  • AdamGarmon Sun Dec 29 2019

    Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation

    Thorough and definitive. Our son is very happy that such a complete book on cheetahs is available.

  • AshutoshZade Sun Jan 13 2019

    Cheetah Biology and Conservation

    The author has compiled invalualbe researched and presented it in a very clear and engaging format. The extent of references and bibliography suggest tremendous work that was put into the book. Kudos !! This is a book for Cheetah lovers and someone who really want to know all about Cheetahs from scientific perspective from evolution to making Cheetahs thrive again on earth. Thanks

  • Jayne R. Mon Dec 03 2018

    Comprehensive study of a fast moving subject

    Something for everyone interested in Cheetahs and their environments

  • JaneGalton Sun Nov 04 2018

    Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation

    Excellent cover of the research, conservation and biology of the cheetah edited by leading cheetah conservationist, Dr Laurie Marker with each chapter written by cheetah experts.

  • JamesonBowman Wed Jun 27 2018

    Great book very informative and

    Great book very informative and diverse

  • Erin V. Mon May 14 2018


    I've been obsessed with cheetahs my entire life. I'm always looking online for the latest facts and studies. This book compiled it all. There is sooooo much information on everything cheetah related. My favorite chapter is the one on why we need cheetahs in zoos.

  • Ivana V. Tue Feb 13 2018



  • Courtney H. Wed Jan 31 2018

    To my knowledge, the first

    To my knowledge, the first comprehensive volume on cheetah biology and conservation covering a very broad range of topics. Much needed and welcomed.