On January 18, 19th “WildTalk” seminar held at Entesharat Fanni Hall, Tehran. The event brought together more than 30 researchers, students, and nature lovers. Subjects covered in this event were trophic Interactions of the Persian Leopard and Asiatic cheetahs, and genetic census of Asian brown bears.

The first speaker was Ali Rezaei from University of Tehran, who presented his work on diet of sympatric Persian leopards and Asiatic cheetahs in Bafgh Protected area, Yazd Province. Using scat analysis methods in a pilot study, Ali revealed trophic interactions between these two threatened large carnivores in one of the species’ critical habitats in central Iran. Further, Ali discussed how results of his research may guide conservation managers and parishioners in conservation planning for the threatened large felids of Iran.

The second presenter, Ehsan Moqanaki, shared results of his work in Arasbaran Biosphere Reserve of East Azarbayjan province. Ehsan has used non-invasively collected faecal-DNA to estimate abundance of brown bears in this reserve on the Iranian Caucasus, NW Iran. Additionally, he has compared his genetic census of the population with the local warden’s perceived-abundance of the reserve bears. Ehsan showed that these estimates differ in an order of magnitude, and argued that such unreliable guess-estimates may mislead managers in prioritizing conservation actions for the endangered populations.

The bi-monthly WildTalk seminars are hosted by Entesharat Fanni Publications and organized by the Iranian Cheetah Society. Each seminar brings two speakers to present their most recent research on the Iranian wildlife.