It's December 4th, International Cheetah Day!
Today is the day when all of us passionate artists come together to raise awareness around the world about the endangered cheetah!
In this feature you will find information about cheetahs and endangerment, fantastic art features, and a highlight on the International Cheetah Day Challenge, an art awareness-raising project!
Fave this journal to get it into the deviantART footer!
We would like to welcome you to International Cheetah Day by inviting you to watch Jeff Corwin's introductory message!
What is a cheetah?
The cheetah is the fastest land animal, capable of accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in only three seconds. It's top speed has been recorded as 70mph! A single stride of the cheetah's run can be over 20 feet long, and it can take five strides per second!
It is the smallest of the big cats, but it has a couple of differences from the rest of them: it cannot roar, and its claws are only semi-retractable.
The cheetah is designed for high-speed chases in every way, it's heart, liver, and lungs being three times larger than those of a lion in relation to their body size! It also has enlarged sinuses and can take up to 150 breaths per minute.
Cheetahs have incredible eyesight and are able to see clear details up to three miles away! They use this ability when hunting their prey in the vast savannahs of Africa.
Learn about each cheetah subspecies in these special features!
Eastern Africa Cheetah Southern Africa Cheetah Central Africa Cheetah Northwest Africa Cheetah Asiatic Cheetah Cheetah Color Mutations
Why is the cheetah endangered?
Cheetahs have been captured and kept as pets worldwide since antiquity and were used in sport hunting the way dogs are used today across two continents. India captured all of its cheetahs for this purpose, and they are now extinct there and the rest of Asia.
In the 1900's farmers in Africa began blaming cheetahs for the deaths of livestock and killed them whenever possible. The cheetah population dropped from 100,000 in 1900 to just 2,500 in 1990.
Due to the efforts of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre and other conservation groups, the wild cheetah population has risen to almost 10,000 in the last 20 years.
Cheetahs are still at risk for extinction due to low genetic diversity, decreasing habitats and food sources, and continued hunting by humans.
And for a special treat, here is a live video stream of cheetah cubs born on October 6th at the Richmond Zoo!
How can we help save the cheetah?
There are many ways to get involved in cheetah conservation! The first step is to get connected with a conservation group. One of the largest cheetah conservation efforts you can join is the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
What is the Cheetah Conservation Fund?
The CCF is a non-profit organization that works to protect the cheetah and ensure its future on the earth! They are in their 23rd year of operation and have partners worldwide to support the conservation effort. They take regular censuses of the cheetahs left in the wild using camera traps, and they rescue hundreds of orphaned cheetah cubs and release them back into the wild whenever possible! They educate farmers and other people who share their homeland with cheetahs and have provided a guard dog program so farmers can keep their livestock safe from any predator. They are working to restore the natural habitats of cheetahs by stopping the bush encroachment on the savannahs and have created an international market for bush-based products.
The CCF was recently struck by lightning and they lost their entire Visitor's Center, which housed many irreplaceable educational materials. In the wake of this recent catastrophe they are not discouraged, and are rebuilding and ready for International Cheetah Day 2013!
Watch the CCF's YouTube page for their special ICD State of the Cheetah broadcast!
What can I do to help?
Use social media to spread the word! On Twitter and Tumblr, use hashtag #SavetheCheetah and #IntlCheetahDay to share information about the cheetah with the world outside of deviantART! Get cheetahs trending! Also, download images from CCF's ICD page to share on your Facebook, Twitter, and other pages! And psst! For those of you who didn't have time to make art, you can upload one of their infographics today to take part!
Sell your cheetah art and donate money to a conservation group! We have all of this fantastic art submitted for the ICDC to raise awareness, and you could take the next step and sell that art and give money toward actually saving a cheetah!
Start fundraisers within your school or community! If you're in the younger age group, you can get ideas for raising awareness from Kids4Cheetahs at the CCF.
You can purchase items from the CCF store or other conservation groups such as calendars, posters, books, clothing, DVDs, or even the CCF's new wine label, and the proceeds all go toward conservation!
You can sponsor a Livestock Guard Dog through the CCF or the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, which helps reduce human killing of cheetahs!
You can sponsor an individual cheetah through any conservation group or simply make a donation to save all wild cheetahs!
We have talked a lot about the Cheetah Conservation Fund, but any conservation group is worthy of your time and money in the effort of cheetah conservation. Saving an endangered species is a joint effort--not something that a single group can accomplish, but something that will take the collaboration of everyone, from the CCF's hard work to the child selling lemonade to raise money. However you choose to be involved, anything you do to help save the cheetahs will make a difference!
There are countless conservation groups throughout the world, and it would be impossible to list them all here. These are some of the more well known groups (you can find more on our About Us page), and we hope that you will take a moment to look into one of these groups and do your part to help save the cheetah!
Cheetah Conservation Fund Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre Iranian Cheetah Society Cheetah Preservation Foundation Friends of the Masai Mara Endangered Speedster of the African Wild Cheetah Outreach Dell Cheetah Centre Cause An Uproar!
The International Cheetah Day Challenge!
What is the ICDC?
The International Cheetah Day Challenge is today: the successful raising of awareness about cheetah endangerment through art!
The simple idea of the challenge was that if there was a massive influx of cheetah art to deviantART on one day, people would take notice! If you found this journal through cheetah art, then you are witness to the success of the International Cheetah Day Challenge!
Hundreds of deviants have come together on this one day to show their support for saving cheetahs by spending their time to create art. They do not get anything out of this except the satisfaction of knowing they have helped raise awareness for an endangered species. You can view the art created for the challenge here at #Save-The-Cheetah in our challenge folder in our gallery. Also, take time to look at the fantastic art created for last year's ICDC!
When we work together, we can accomplish great things. Today we have used our creative talents to make a difference in the world for cheetahs. Imagine what more we can do when we come together as a community of not only artists, but people who care about protecting the world we live in!
Thanks to Our Supporters!
The International Cheetah Day Challenge would not have been possible without the generous response and support from the deviantART community! Here follows a list of all* Deviants and Groups who helped promote the ICDC!
Very Special Thanks to the following Deviants and Groups!
- Promoted with two journals and contest! Contest runs for a couple weeks, go check it out!
Promoted with two journals!
- Promoted on Tumblr and created a base for other artists to use for their drawings!
- Promoted with a custom box on their page!
- Promoted with a poll on their page!
- Promoted with a custom box on their page!
*If you did not receive a personal "thank you" message from *bcbdrums it means your support was not found. Please link to it here and your name will be added to the featured list! If another form of support was overlooked, please inform us so we may feature you too! If your journal was written on or after December 4th it is included in the ICDC gallery rather than listed here. Blog is updated regularly.