Looking for Cheetahs and Caracals in Abbas Abad
Iran’s cheetah population monitoring program is now implemented in a new area, Abbas Abad Wildlife Refuge, a recently established to save the species in central Iran. According to Esfahan Department of Environment’s invitation from the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) to design and implement the project in the area, more than 35 locations have been identified by biologists to deploy camera traps.
During the past month, local experts and game wardens have been trained on methodology as well as how to install camera traps and 18 units have been set across the area to start the project. Since 2002, the ICS has been cooperating with local experts to identify different species, particularly Asiatic cheetah and caracal. In autumn 2010, the Asiatic cheetah was photo-trapped for the first time in the area; however, more efforts by the game wardens resulted in no more evidence of the cheetah in Abbas Abad. Therefore, we aim to approve cheetahs’ presence in different parts of the area and to learn more about their population characteristic which will be finished before August 2012.
The Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) is now monitoring Asiatic cheetah population across multiple landscapes in Iran in order to get the first reliable estimate of the species population and characteristics in the country. So far, six areas where the cheetahs exist have been surveyed and we are trying to complete other jigsaw parts to learn more about the status of this critically endangered cat.
The first and of course the last evidence of cheetah presence in Abbas Abad, photo-trapped in fall 2010 by camera traps set by local experts. The ICS is now helping the Iranian government to catch a better snapshot of the cheetah population in this managed reserve in central Iran