During August-September 2016, the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) surveyed Naybandan Wildlife Refuge in South Khorasan Province. As the most intensive effort ever to monitor the Critically Endangered Asiatic cheetah in Naybandan, 52 camera traps were systematically set up over the reserve to gather information about the presence of cheetah individuals identified in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 surveys, occurrence of any new cheetahs, and movement behaviour of cheetahs.
Naybandan Wildlife Refuge extends over 15,000 km2 of remote mountainous deserts in south-central Iran, not far from Iranian borders with Afghanistan. The present camera-trapping survey was carried out as part of ICS’s third phase of nation-wide cheetah monitoring program. During this survey, the ICS team surveyed the central and northern parts of Naybandan for the first time. The two-month survey has resulted in more 50,000 photographs of Naybandan wildlife, including the Asiatic cheetah, striped hyena, caracal, wildcat, Blanford’s fox, sand fox, and golden jackal, bezoar goat, wild sheep, and chinkara. The ICS team is now analysing the cheetah photographs to determine if any new cheetah individual has been photo-captured in Naybandan. The present Naybandan survey has been conducted in collaboration with Tabas Office of South Khorasan Department of Environment, CACP, and Part Wildlife Discovery Institute.