“Recent monitoring program by means of camera trapping technology in Naybadan Wildlife Refuge indicated that the cheetah population is stable and no remarkable change in demographic trend is seen. Hosted by Naybadan core zone which is part of the larger 14,000 km2 Naybandan Wildlife Refuge, no more than three individuals have been explored within the population range already recorded for the area between 2002 and 2008 with the same methodology which has been normally between 2 and 4 individuals.
Arash, an adult resident male cheetah is quite dominant in images caught by heat-in-motion camera traps deployed in different parts of the area which looks quite healthy. However, lack of evidence of breeding over past two years has raised a significant concern while efforts are ongoing to find possible signs. Furthermore, more cheetahs are expected to exist in the larger area, as the monitoring program is focused on part of the Wildlife Refuge Initiated since late 2011, Asiatic Cheetah National Monitoring Program has been implementing by the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) and Iranian Department of Environment in partnership with Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project and Panthera in order to obtain the first comprehensive baseline of the cheetah population in Iran. Extended to eastern country with generous funds from the UK-based PTES, the program now tries to understand feasibility of cheetah re-colonization into Afghanistan from the last established population of the animal in Naybandan Wildlife Refuge in eastern country. Soon after the project field work, a regional meeting is held to report the project’s feedback to local conservation practitioners and also to acknowledge local game guards who were trained and were actively involved in the project implementation.