Persian leopard spotted in Lake Urmia island

TEHRAN, Apr. 11 (MNA) – Trap cameras have spotted a Persian leopard at Ashk Island in the Lake Urmia, West Azarbaijan province.

According to Omid Yusefi, the provincial head of wildlife department of the Department of Environment, "The leopard was seen in the island last September, but the big cat was not captured by the cameras ever since.”

The Persian leopard is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List; the population is estimated at fewer than 871–1,290 mature individuals and considered declining.

According to the Department of Environment, 156 leopards have been killed in Iran from 2005 to 2014, nearly 20 leopards a year. Studies indicate that currently there are less than 500 leopards nationwide.

Ashk Island, The island, situated on the south of the Island of Kaboodan and 40 km from the port of Golman Khaneh, is one of the nine islands in Urmia Lake and has been the most secure habitat for several species in the past two decades.

MNA/IRN83745744

News Code 157481

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