The species is considered highly endangered. The cheetah's range stretches along South-eastern Sub-Saharan Africa (namely in Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, C.A.R., Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, former Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe) (Wilson & Reeder, 1993), but does not include the western African forest block or the Sahara zone. Some isolated populations survive across Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger and Togo. The geographic range was acquired from the map published by Nowell & Jackson (1996) and updated following Dr. P. Jackson’s suggestions (28 April '97). The final map includes some uncertain presence areas in Western Sahara, Libya, Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique, where the species has not been recorded for a long time or where data are of poor quality (Nowell & Jackson, 1996).
Categorical-discrete (CD) distribution model
Most frequently observed on open grassy plains, the species also makes extensive use of bush, scrub and open woodlands; mosaics of woodland and grassland are probably preferred. Also found in arid environments, from coastal desert to mountain ranges in Northern Sahara. It does not occur in forest and in true desert (Nowell & Jackson, 1996; Estes, 1991; Osborn & Helmy, 1980).