The Global Cheetah Summit, also known as the GCC, was held in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and was hosted by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) based in Namibia. The conference took place over four days, from February 28th to 31st, 2024, and brought together experts and conservationists from around the world to discuss cheetah status and conservation efforts.
The Iranian Cheetah Society, being the only non-governmental group actively involved in Asiatic Cheetah conservation in Iran, participated in the event as Iran’s representative. Unfortunately, despite invitations to the Department of Environment, no representatives from the government attended the summit. Consequently, Iran, as the sole host of the rarest big cat species in Asia, lacked government representation at this significant event.
During the four-day conference, specialists and experts discussed the current status of cheetah populations in various regions. They covered topics related to conservation efforts, achievements, opportunities, and threats faced by this species. The CEO of the Iranian Cheetah Society also presented the ongoing efforts in Iran and the current population situation.
It is estimated that at least 7,500 cheetahs inhabit 31 regions across 23 countries in Asia and Africa. Unfortunately, among the four subspecies—South African, East African, West African, and Asiatic—the Asiatic cheetah has the most precarious population. It is believed that fewer than 30 individuals of this subspecies remain.
To address the urgent need for international collaboration, experts discussed the genetic status of all remaining Asiatic cheetahs and explored the possibility of introducing new genes from other subspecies. The Iranian Cheetah Society continues to advocate for stronger efforts by the government to save the Asiatic (Iranian) cheetah. Current activities, which fall short of previous decades, need to align better with the species’ requirements and ecological context. The society aims to gradually raise awareness about these needs and essential conservation measures.
Our team was sponsored by SPOTS and CCF for our participation in this summit. Their generosity and support were instrumental in making our involvement in this summit possible. We are grateful for their partnership and look forward to continuing our collaboration in the future.