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 Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>