The cheetah (; Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae that occurs in Southern, North and East Africa, and a few localities in Iran. The species is IUCN Red Listed as vulnerable, as it suffered a substantial decline in its historic range in the 20th century due to habitat loss, poaching, illegal pet trade, and conflict with humans. By 2016, the global cheetah population has been estimated at approximately 7,100 individuals in the wild. Several African countries have taken steps to improve cheetah conservation measures. It is the fastest land animal. The only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, the cheetah was formally described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775. The cheetah is characterised by a slender body, deep chest, spotted coat, small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, long thin legs and long spotted tail. Its lightly built, slender form is in sharp contrast with the robust build of the big cats, making it more similar to the cougar. The cheetah reaches nearly 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg (46–159 lb). Though taller than the leopard, it is notably smaller than the lion.
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