Iranian doc on Asiatic cheetah makes its way to ABU festival

June 17, 2022 - 17:52

TEHRAN – A documentary on the Asiatic cheetah by Saeed Aghaei is to be screened at the International Festival of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Titled “Kushki, an Asian cheetah”, the documentary tries to picture the life history of cheetahs, the environmental problems of these valuable species, as well as the plans taken to preserve the cheetahs and their reproduction.

Established in 1964, ABU is the biggest broadcasting union in the world. ABU Prizes promote excellence in content production to raise educational and cultural standards.

This year, entries are accepted from 30 March to June 30. Final Judging will be held from September 26 to 30. And the award ceremony will be held in New Delhi, India, as a gala event of the ABU General Assembly.

Fastest mammal endangered

Over the past 60 years, Iran was home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah, which once roamed across vast ranges of the west and south Asian countries. Over the past 60 years, Iran was home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah, which once roamed across vast ranges of the west and south Asian countries, from West Asia to India. Listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, the Asiatic cheetah is among the rarest cats in the world at the subspecies level, with fewer than 50 believed to remain in Iran.

However, Hassan Akbari, deputy head of the Department of Environment (DOE), said in January that the Asiatic Cheetah was down to just 12, from an estimated 100 in 2010.

Cheetahs’ habitats in Iran were stretching over 12 million hectares of land area over the past 16 years. While it is now stretching to three million hectares in the southern part of the country but is hosting only a few cheetahs.

Roads that are fragmenting cheetahs’ habitats are the main threats to the species, while guard dogs and stray dogs, drought spells, decreasing population of the prey species to support the cheetahs, and habitat loss are also other factors endangering the sparse population of the cheetahs in the country.

The DOE has long been trying to breed Asiatic cheetah in the wild and in captivity so that the species is protected from extinction, but none appeared successful.

Previously, artificial insemination has been conducted on a female cheetah called ‘Delbar’ several times, and all failed.

Although, an endangered female cheetah gave birth to three cubs in captivity on May 1st, at the Touran Wildlife Refuge in Semnan province, for the first time for the subspecies. Sadly, two of the cubs died due to improper care.

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