The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group is extant (members of it are still alive) and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. Also included are species that have gone extinct since 500 AD. When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Many countries require CITES permits when importing plants and animals listed on CITES.
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large feline (family Felidae, subfamily Felinae) inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. The cheetah can run faster than any other land animal— as fast as 112 to 120 km/h (70 to 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in five seconds.
This cat is also notable for modifications in the species' paws. It is one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws.