Bafq Protected Area is now fighting for its survival as one of the main environmental challenges of the country is threatening the area. As usual like many other protected areas in the world, a road is planned to be developed through heart of the reserve, an area which is one of the main hotspots for two rare species, Asiatic cheetah and Persian leopard. The road shortens the present road of a couple of villages behind Bafq Mountain to the central city. Now, local people have to drive some 78 km in a well-developed flat road to arrive to the city, but the new 56 km road is not a significant shortcut, just reduces 22 km comparing to existing route. Moreover, the new road passes through dangerous and steep mountainous slopes which while enhancing traffic incidences, increases fuel consumption as vehicles need to drive in mountainous road. In the meantime, the Iranian Department of Environment has offered two new alternatives which affect the protected area less adversely; however, less success has been achieved to establish these new items.


Located in central country, Bafq is one of the most important habitats for our two big cats where numerous records of cheetah and leopard families indicate a breeding site for two species, particularly for the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah. It has been under official protection since 1996 and now, there is a relatively good population of above-mentioned cats as well as caracal and Manul