“According to a recent investigation, the Asiatic cheetahs normally live longer in areas which are enough large. Analysis of more than 100 cheetah individuals recorded during past decade in Iran indicates that reserves’ size and integrity can contribute to more survival of the critically endangered Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. Kavir, Turan and Naybandan are the most important large sites for the cheetahs in the country. In contrast, the cheetahs occurring within smaller areas have been recorded on camera traps for short times, normally less than two years. The maximum known presence of a cheetah in smaller areas is around three years.
The Asiatic cheetahs are known to walk long distances and cover large areas in search for food, safety and mate. Accordingly, the smaller is their habitat, the higher is chance of encountering people and roads while patrolling outside their protected habitat. Accordingly, while smaller reserves have a significantly higher security due to law enforcement; however, the cheetahs’ chance to go back is not high.
Jointly conducted by Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah project (CACP) and the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS), the present research reveals high importance of large intact areas for securing longer survival of the cheetahs in Iran. Moreover, network of smaller reserves which are still connected can be crucial to save the cheetahs lives.