Range & Habitat
Ten thousand years ago, cheetahs roamed throughout Asia, Africa, and North America. Today, they mainly live in sub-Saharan Africa, on less than a quarter of their historical range, and in a very small population in Iran. Cheetahs are rare in West Africa, but do live in the mountain ranges of southern Algeria, Mali, and Niger. Groups of the cats are scattered more broadly from East Africa to southern Africa, while more sizable populations can be found in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
Cheetahs prefer open plains, savanna woodlands, and open grasslands, but can also be found in semi-desert and mountainous areas. Female cheetahs prefer denser woodland habitat because more ungulates live there. Depending on the season and food supply, as many as 40 cheetahs can live on 256 acres (1 km2) of land.