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Persian leopards in Iran

After disappearance of Asiatic lion and Caspian tiger, the Persian leopard is the largest cat in western Asia, however it faces a high threat of extinction itself.

The problem

Persian leopards face a variety of dangers, even inside protected reserves. Housing developments, livestock farming, hunting and trapping all threaten their very existence. Persian leopards range widely range across multiple protected areas, often crossing international borders, making conservation work a particular challenge.

The solution

Iran is the Persian leopard stronghold in the Middle East although even here densities are very low. Our work, with Oxford University’s WildCRU, focuses on reducing the dangers and ensuring the long-term survival of endangered Persian leopards across multiple reserves in northeastern Iran.

We’re tracking five leopards with special GPS collars to find out as much as we can about their ranging behavior so that the park boundaries are appropriately situated to protect as many individuals as possible. We’re also assessing local people’s interaction with reserves and helping them learn more about the big cats they live alongside. As always, we’ll be sharing what we find out with other conservation experts.

Project leader Mohammad Farhadinia is one of our special Conservation Partners. We’re providing him with the support to he needs to help this enigmatic large cat face a safer future in the wild mountains and foothills of west Asia.

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