The cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, the world’s fastest cat, has been included in CITES Appendix I since 1975, where the following annotation applies: “Annual export quotas for live specimens and hunting trophies are granted as follows: Botswana: 5; Namibia: 150; Zimbabwe: 50. The trade in such specimens is subject to the provisions of Article III of the Convention”.
In 2009, it was listed also in Appendix I of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), except for its populations in Zimbabwe. Populations of Botswana and Namibia are also not listed as the two counties are not Parties to CMS.
Cheetahs face a variety of pressures to their existence in the wild, including habitat loss, hunting of their prey base for bush-meat, illegal international trade and conflict with livestock owners.
Globally, this species is considered Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, with a declining extant population of less than 7,000 individuals found primarily in the savannahs of Africa. While southern Africa is the cheetah’s regional stronghold, it is considered Critically Endangered in the North and West Africa. A small and remnant Asiatic population exists also in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where it is assessed as Critically Endangered.
Resolutions / Decisions
- Decisions 17.124 to 17.130 on Illegal Trade in Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
- Resolution Conf. 11.3 (Rev. CoP17) on Compliance and enforcement
- Resolution Conf. 11.21 (Rev. CoP17) on Use of annotations in Appendices I and II
- Resolution Conf. 12.5 (Rev. CoP17) on Conservation of and trade in tigers and other Appendix-I Asian big cat species (only relevant for the Asian population of Acinonyx jubatus)
- Resolution Conf. 17.4 on Demand reduction strategies to combat illegal trade in CITES-listed species
- Resolution Conf. 17.8 on Disposal of illegally traded and confiscated specimens of CITES-listed species
- Resolution Conf. 17.9 on Trade in hunting trophies of species listed in Appendix I or II
Documents and Notifications
- Notification 2018/058 (issued 04/06/2018) on Illegal trade in cheetahs, including the questionnaire in its Annex
- Notification 2018/046 (issued 15/05/2018) on Establishment of a cheetah closed user group on the WCO CENcomm platform
- SC70 Doc 43 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) Report of the Secretariat
- SC69 Doc 45 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) - Report of the Secretariat
- CoP17 Doc.49 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
- SC66 Doc 32.5 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) - Report of the working group
- SC66 Doc 32.5 - Annex on Questionnaire results from the working group
- SC65 Doc 39 - Annex 1 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) – An assessment of conservation impacts of legal and illegal trade in Cheetahs
- AC29 Doc. 29 - Annex on Joint CMS-CITES African Carnivores Initiative
- AC27 Doc. 18 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
Exhanging and sharing information on cheetahs
Parties, experts, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders which would like to share information on cheetahs, can provide such information to the Secretariat for publication on the web page, as appropriate.
Submit a report
Information submitted using the above link will be, as appropriate, posted under the heading Information on cheetahs on this web page.
Tools and resources
- Cheetah closed user group: A closed user group on cheetahs is established on the World Customs Organization CENcomm platform, to facilitate the exchange of information on illegal trade in cheetah specimens between relevant national competent authorities, including representatives of customs, police, wildlife law enforcement authorities, and intergovernmental organizations. For more information, see Notification 2018/046.
- Cheetah resource kit: under development.
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ range map of cheetah populations: click here
- Cheetah distribution by Species+: click here
News and highlights
- 03 March 2018: World Wildlife Day: Big cats - Predators under threat
- 19 January 2016: A good week for wildlife - CITES meeting takes bold decisions in fight against illicit wildlife trafficking and on ensuring sustainability
- 11 January 2016: World's wildlife trade regulator meets to assess compliance with multilateral rules, strengthen measures to prevent extinctions and tackle illicit trafficking
- 03 November 2015: CITES Secretary-General's welcoming remarks at the Workshop on illegal trade in cheetahs
- 14 July 2014: CITES Standing Committee (SC65) conclusions: A focus on the front lines
- 04 July 2014: CITES meets as 'wealth' is replacing 'health' as a driver of wildlife consumption
- 09 May 2014: 300 Science Experts Review Sustainability of CITES Wildlife Trade