By Jamshid Parchizadeh

Persian leopard’s global range

October 1, 2019

The Persian leopard is classed as “Endangered” on the Red List of the “International Union for Conservation of Nature” with an estimated population size of 871 to 1,290 individuals. It occurs: 1) throughout Iran, 2) southern Turkmenistan, 3) parts of Afghanistan, 4) northwestern and southern Azerbaijan, 5) northeastern Iraq, 6) southwestern Dagestan in the Russian Federation, 7) southern and southwestern Armenia, 8) eastern and southeastern Turkey, 9) eastern and southeastern Georgia, 10) parts of Pakistan, 11) small parts of Tajikistan, and 12) probably small parts of Uzbekistan.

1) Iran: after the extinction of the Persian lion and Caspian tiger from Iran’s fauna, the leopard is now the largest member of eight felid species surviving today in Iran with between 550 and 850 individuals.

2) Turkmenistan: the mountainous southern edge of Turkmenistan holds an estimated 78 to 90 Persian leopards.

3) Afghanistan: it is believed that Persian leopard occurs in the central highland regions of Afghanistan, such as the Hindu Kush and the Wakhan Corridor, but at very low numbers.

4) Azerbaijan: approximately 15 Persian leopards occur in the Hyrkan National Park in the Talysh Mountains and the Zangezur National Park in the Nakhchivan/Azerbaijan-Southern Armenia sector.

5) Iraq: there may be as many as 10 Persian leopards in the mountainous areas of northeastern Iraq’s Kurdistan region along the border with Iran and Turkey.

6) The Russian Federation: totally, no more than 10 Persian leopards inhabit four places in Russian Federation: a) Assa River Valley in Ingushetia, b) Armkhi River Valley in Ossetia, c) Andiskoye Koysu and Avarskoye Koysu headwaters in Dagestan, and d) Sharoargun and Argun river valleys in Chechnya.

7) Armenia: fewer than 10 individual leopards are restricted to the Zangezur Mountains that defines the border between Armenia's southern province of Syunik and Azerbaijan's Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic.

8) Turkey: there may be fewer than 5 Persian leopards in Turkey. The leopard lives in the southeastern frontier region of Anatolia in areas close to the eastern or northeastern Turkish border.

9) Georgia: there are very few Persian leopards (i.e., fewer than 5 individuals) left in the wild in this country.

10) Pakistan: the regions located to the west of the Indus River in Swat, Dir, Indus Kohistan, and Baluchistan are believed to hold an unknown number of Persian leopards in Pakistan.

11) Tajikistan and Uzbekistan: if the leopard is present in Uzbekistan, there could be as many as 10 individuals in the Babatag Mountains and the Kugitang Mountains in the far southeastern region of Uzbekistan bordering Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

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