Leopards spotted for first time in Bakhtegan national park

September 10, 2018

TEHRAN — For the first time, three leopards have been spotted at the Bakhtegan national park in Neyriz city located in southern Fars province, Saeed Mahmoudi, the provincial department of environment chief has said.

Since June last year, wildlife experts have decided to install camera traps on one of the permanent springs of the Bakhtegan national park, which have been demonstrating signs of leopards living there, such as scratching on trees and footprints, Mahmoudi explained, IRNA reported on Sunday.

“Existence of a leopard in the area, mating and having two cubs, represents the area's safety for the animal's habitat,” he added.

He further explained that the rare species of Persian leopard is one of the nine sub-species of the world's leopards, which is considered to be the largest, and is among the most endangered species in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Although the Persian leopard was most likely distributed in West Asia; the largest population survived in Iran among the Middle East, he highlighted.

He also added that last year, for the first time also leopards have been spotted in the protected area of Hormoud, Larestan county located in Fars province.

“Since [the Iranian calendar year] 1393 (March 2014- March 2015), several leopards have lost life in the cities of Rostam, Kazeroon, Firoozabad, Shiraz, Mohr, Arsanjan and Estahban due to road accidents, hunting or baiting or in conflict with ranchers,” he regretted.

Persian leopard insurance is one of the main parts of the Persian Leopard National Conservation and Management Action Plan, which has been drawn up in the past two years has reduced probable conflicts with ranchers in the country, he said, adding that due to the reduction of conflicts and losses of leopard within the past two years, it is scheduled to continue the insurance coverage under the Department of Environment (DOE) supervision. 

FB/MQ/MG

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