Asiatic Cheetah spotted in NE Iran

JAJROM, Jun. 28 (MNA) – Trap cameras installed in a Northeastern Wildlife Reservoir has recorded images of some rare species of the region.

An area of 84,435 hectares, Miandasht Wildlife Reservoir was established in Jajrom County of North Khorasan Province in 1973 when it enjoyed 3500 goitered gazelle and a few Asiatic cheetah and in 2013 16,000 hectares of it was registered as the 29th National Park of Iran dubbed as Zamene Ahou.

The General Director of provincial office of Iran’s Department of Environment in North Khorasan Ali Asghar Motahhari told Mehr News correspondent about the cameras installed in the reservoir in late May which have captured 2,000 shots of the wildlife in the region.

In addition to Asiatic cheetah, the cameras have also trapped some caracal, deer, fox, wolf, jackal, rabbit and a plethora of birds in their shots.

The Asiatic cheetah or Iranian cheetah is a critically endangered species now on the verge of extinction and an important part of Iran’s natural and cultural heritage.

It is estimated that around 8 to 10 Asiatic Cheetahs inhibit in the reservior, the official said.

He also expressed content with the cameras installed as they help monitoring and counting the species in the refuge.

In the early 20th century, the population of the Asiatic cheetah distributed across many countries, including India, Pakistan, the Middle East and Russia.

Currently, the only existing population lives in the northeastern Iranian scrublands, where only 50 to 70 individuals are estimated to survive in the wild.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Iran is directing a project in conjunction with Iran's Department of the Environment dubbed the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP).

Iran is home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah which is among the rarest cats in the world at subspecies level, after the Amur leopard. 

News Code 108239

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    • Save the big cats 05:18 - 2015/06/30
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      Hope the Asiatic Cheetah can fight off the threat of extinction. When accounting for threats and breeding patterns before poaching you are looking at a likely hood of there being maybe 20 breeding females and possibly 40 cubs may survive to become adults before poaching, over the next 5 years. It will be a slow climb back to a large population. Accounting for old age the population may reach 60-80 individuals by 2020, if things go well. Iran needs to focus on this for the species to survive.