Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


In Iran, camera traps reveal rare Asiatic cheetahs


Largest-known group ever photographed in Asia

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists, working in conjunction with Iran’s Department of Environment (DOE) in an isolated region in the Dar-e Anjir Wildlife Refuge, recently discovered that a remote camera set out to survey wildlife had photographed an entire family of extremely rare Asiatic cheetahs. The pictures show an adult female and her four youngsters resting in the shade of a tree, marking the largest-known group of these rare cats ever photographed in Asia.

Once ranging from the Red Sea to India, the Asiatic cheetah today is hanging on by only the thinnest of threads. Fewer than 60 exist on the entire Asian continent, mostly on Iran’s arid central plateau, where WCS and Iranian biologists have been conducting surveys of this highly endangered big cat since 2001.

"As a species the cheetah is still in dire straits in Iran, so it is extremely encouraging to see an apparently healthy family in their native habitat," said Dr. Peter Zahler, assistant director for WCS’s Asia Programs. "Images like these give hope to conservationists that there is still time to save these magnificent animals."

Initiated by a major grant and ongoing support from the United Nations Development Program’s Global Environment Facility, WCS began its collaboration with Iranian scientists by surveying five protected areas where cheetahs were still thought to exist. The group found a variety of suitable habitat, but also discovered that prey species, such as jebeer gazelle and urial sheep, were scarce. The latest photographs hint at the gradual recovery of prey populations.

"Cheetahs in Iran live on a knife-edge in very marginal habitat," said Dr Luke Hunter, coordinator of WCS’s Global Carnivore Program. "The fact that this female has managed to raise four cubs to six months of age is extremely encouraging. Hopefully, this indicates there are areas where the cheetah’s prey species are coming back, a goal the Iranian DOE and UNDP has been working very hard to achieve."

In the 1970s, estimates of the number of cheetahs in Iran ranged from 100 to 400 animals. But widespread poaching of cheetahs and their prey during the early years of the 1978 revolution, along with degradation of habitat due to livestock grazing, have pushed this important predator to the brink of extinction. Once known as "hunting leopards," cheetahs have played a significant historical role in Iranian culture being trained by its emperors to hunt gazelles in ancient times.

Asiatic cheetahs went extinct throughout much of the Middle East about 100 years ago, though they occurred in Saudi Arabia until the 1950s. They vanished in India in 1947; spotty records claim they ranged in Central Asia as far as Kazakhstan from the 1960s through 1980s.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>