Camera traps picture Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopards in Semnan

May 25, 2019 - 20:5

TEHRAN – An Asiatic cheetah and three Persian leopards have been observed through camera traps in Shahrood county in north central Semnan province, Amir Abdous, the provincial department of environment chief, has announced.

“Cameras have recently captured photos of an Asiatic cheetah and three Persian leopards around watering troughs,” he said.

All are mature and physically healthy, which is so precious, Abdous further highlighted, Mehr reported on Wednesday.

Referring to ten camera traps installed in the area by the environmentalists to determine the exact distribution of the species, he said that Asiatic cheetah and Persian leopard are two invaluable species which are endangered despite being among umbrella and flagship species.

In conservation biology, a flagship species is a species chosen to stimulate people to provide money or support for biodiversity conservation in a given place or social context. The use of flagship species has been dominated by large bodied animals, especially mammals, like Asiatic cheetah.

Umbrella species are species selected for making conservation-related decisions, typically because protecting these species indirectly protects the many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat, such as Persian leopard.

Species conservation can be subjective because it is hard to determine the status of many species. With millions of species of concern, the identification of selected keystone species, flagship species or umbrella species makes conservation decisions easier. 

Both listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Asiatic cheetah and Persian leopard are among the rarest cats in the world at subspecies level with declining population, and few of them remained in Iran.

Roads fragmenting their habitats are the main threats for the species, while guard dogs and stray dogs, drought spells, decreasing population of the prey species, illegal hunting and habitat loss are also other factors endangering the sparse population of them in the country.

Earlier in April, An Asiatic cheetah and two Persian leopards have been spotted in Shahrood county.


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