Authors

Khalatbari L, Jowkar H, Yusefi GH, Brito JC, Ostrowski S

Abstract

 

The current distribution of Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx jubatus venaticus in Iran is fragmented in three scattered subpopulations in the central arid plateau. Population size is unknown but tentatively estimated at less than 50 individuals. We review the historic and current status, population trend, and threats to cheetah survival in Iran, and present conservation actions recommended by Iranian experts. Between 2015 and 2017, 26 different individuals have been recorded in protected areas based on camera trapping and direct observation. The northern subpopulation in Touran Biosphere Reserve BR and Miandasht Wildlife Refuge WR is the only one with evidence of reproduction. No reproduction has been observed in the southern subpopulation since 2012, suggesting that it is decreasing in size and range. No cheetah presence has been recorded in the western subpopulation since 2013. Despite the conservation efforts of the last 15 years the cheetah in Iran remains Critically Endangered. Urgent conservation interventions are needed to protect the last remaining individuals. The combined engagement and contribution of national and international partners will be critical for the success of these interventions.

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Journal: CatNews

DOI: n/a