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

Documents and Notifications

  • CoP19 Doc. 59 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • CoP 19 Doc. 67 on CITES Big Cats Task Force (Felidae spp.)
  • CoP18 Doc.60 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • CoP18 Doc. 71.1  on Asian big cats (Felidae spp.)
  • CoP18 Doc.96 on African Carnivores Initiative
  • SC74 Doc. 62 on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)
  • SC74 Doc. 69 on CITES Big Cats Task Force (Felidae spp.) (Rev. 1)
  • SC73 Doc. 23 on CITES Big cats task force. 
  • SC71 Doc. 18 (Rev. 1) on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)Report of the working group
  • 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)
  • Notification 2018/046 (issued 15/05/2018) on Establishment of a cheetah closed user group on the WCO CENcomm platform

Tools and resources

Other materials and resources

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ range map of cheetah populations: click here

Cheetah distribution by Species+: click here

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.

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.

    Information on cheetahs

    CoP19 Inf. 23 The situation of the cheetah in Asia

    CoP18 Inf. 73 on Illegal trade in cheetahsSupplemental information and recommendations 

    SC70 Inf Doc 44 on Supplemental information on Illegal trade in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

    Global dataset for seized and non-intercepted illegal cheetah trade (Acinonyx jybatus) 2010 - 2019