Five Asiatic cheetahs spotted in Turan National Park
According To Iran News, Park rangers have spotted five Asiatic cheetahs in Khar Turan National Park (also known as Turan Wildlife Refuge) in Semnan province, a provincial official at the Department of Environment said.
“Park rangers have captured the footage of a five-member family of Asiatic cheetahs in the national park,” Amir Abdoos, director of Semnan’s DOE office, told Mehr News on Thursday.
He added that the spotted cheetahs have raised hopes for the survival of the endangered species in the region, saying that since it is their breeding season, the occasional reports of females with cubs can indicate a growing population.
Asiatic cheetahs and Persian leopards are among the most endangered species in the world. Big cats have been listed as “endangered” in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Reduced prey population and shrinkage of their natural habitat are threatening the big cats.
Khar Turan National Park, situated in the southeast of Shahrud city, stretches to 1,400,000 hectares while being the second largest reserve in the country after Naybandan Wildlife Refuge.
The park is home to one of the largest populations of the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah.
On late December 2014, four new cheetahs have been spotted by camera traps. Another four new individuals consisting of a female and her three cubs had been reported in January 2015, after another eleven new cheetahs were spotted a month before, and an additional eight cheetahs had been spotted in July 2015. With the increasing numbers of cheetahs in Khar Turan, there is an estimated population of between 39 and 42 individuals.