“According to recent investigation, a total of 75 Asiatic cheetah cubs are known to be born since 2000 in different parts of Iran, in 32 different families. In other word, a minimum of 6 to 7 cheetahs are born each year in Iran. Located south of Alborz Mountains, Turan possessed the highest breeding capacity with at least 9 different families, equal to ca. 30%. However, it is obvious that these figures indicate the minimum numbers and actual breeding should be higher, because all families are not detected, sometimes are outside of protected areas where camera traps operate.
Long-term studies in east Africa have revealed that cheetahs suffer high juvenile mortality, 1 out of each 20 cubs reach to 18 months, age of independence from mothers. However, based on limited number of families studied in Iran, it can be concluded that Iranian cheetahs are lucky to have higher cub survival. The Asiatic cheetah occur in multiple reserves in eastern half of Iran, but analysis indicate that they still have high potential of recovering, if proper and vast habitats are well protected, according to studies ongoing by the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS), Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project and Panthera.
Reproduction is one of the most critical demographic aspects to manage wildlife, particularly for endangered species. Accordingly, after completion of first round of national monitoring of the Asiatic cheetahs in Iran since 2011, the ICS has launched a new monitoring program to explore reproduction of the cheetahs in different areas. Thus, most of Iran’s main cheetah habitats are now equipped with digital camera traps and are regularly checked to find evidence of breeding which are expected to be quite rare. This program has been initiated since early May when is just after peak of cheetah birth in Iran and will continue until end of summer 2013.