Efficient protection forces are essential for preserving endangered species such as the Asiatic Cheetah. By increasing the number of protection forces in each habitat, the quality of protection in the region can be improved. In 2021, the Iranian Cheetah Society hired two rangers in the Touran Biosphere Reserve. These rangers, who are also from the local community, help with patrolling, rehabilitation, and water supply to waterholes, among other activities. We were able to extend their contracts for another full year thanks to our national and international donors.
Ranger stations are often located in remote areas within protected regions, making it difficult to provide them with water and electricity. Many stations use solar power systems and have water transported by tankers and stored in reservoirs. However, the quality of this water can be affected by its source and storage time, potentially leading to health issues such as kidney diseases caused by the presence of salts and sediments. To address this, the Iranian Cheetah Society purchased water purification devices for ranger stations in Miandasht Wildlife Refuge with support from Elite Company. These devices will help ensure that park rangers have access to clean drinking water, improving their living conditions. Improving living conditions for park rangers in cheetah habitats is a priority for the society, and it has been achieved in various ways over the years. By providing support to park rangers, the Iranian Cheetah Society is helping to protect cheetah habitats and promote conservation efforts.
Following the news of the release of new areas for mining exploration, the society expressed its concern to the government about the new mining activities in Touran and Miandasht and published the response for public awareness. In the image, the extensive overlap of the new area with the last viable habitat of the cheetah in Iran can be seen. The green area indicates the border of the Touran Biosphere Reserve and the red line is the area released in the cadastre system of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade with an area of about 16 thousand square kilometers. An area that practically includes all points of cheetah observation in Touran.
In the follow-up, we learned that the Office of Habitats and Protected Areas Affairs, which is responsible for issuing mining permits in the Department of Environment, had considered this announcement illegal and had also reflected the violation to the judiciary. In a recent meeting with the director general of this office, we also received a letter from the judiciary to the Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade regarding these areas. In this letter, which cannot be published publicly for legal reasons, the judiciary has warned the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade that if it repeats violations of regulations by not issuing permits in protected areas, this will be considered a violation of government employees’ law and will face serious confrontation by the judicial system.
Effective wildlife conservation involves collaboration among various stakeholders, including park managers, rangers, researchers, etc. To achieve this goal, it is essential to share information uniformly among these different groups. The Iranian Cheetah Society has taken an important step in this direction by sharing data obtained during 2021 in Asiatic Cheetah Population Monitoring Program with Touran Biosphere Reserve rangers. On Monday, May 15, 2022, rangers from the protected areas of the Turan Biosphere Reserve were informed of the results of studies in which they played a role in the study. Additionally, planning for the new year was done in consultation with them.
The Touran Biosphere Reserve is located in the Anatolian Iran deserts and comprises a variety of salt, gypsum, stone, and sandy habitats. It covers both clay lowlands and mountains and reaches altitudes of more than 2,200 m above sea level. Communities in the area depend mostly on agriculture and animal husbandry.
The Touran Biosphere Reserve is the second-largest complex of protected areas in Iran, covering an area of around 1,459,506.2 hectares. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife species, including the Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubutus venaticus), Persian Onager (Equus hemionus onager), and the sand cat (Felis Margarita thinobia). Due to its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems, the Touran Biosphere Reserve is an important site for conservation efforts.
First-ever Asiatic Cheetah cubs are born today in the captive breeding center in Iran. Mom and the cubs are healthy. This page will be updated with the most recent news.
Update 1: Two of the cubs are female. Cubs are born during a cesarean.
Update 2: All three cubs are healthy but the mother didn’t accept the cubs yet. All experts from various countries are in touch with the field team.
The Iranian Cheetah Society is a non-profit and non-governmental organization established in 2001 to work towards the preservation of the valuable Asiatic Cheetah. Since its inception, hundreds of experts, volunteers, and supporters have joined hands to change the fate of this beautiful cat in the deserts of Iran. Today, various activities are being carried out in cooperation with park rangers and managers of the Department of Environment during the 20 years of activity of the Society. The experience gained during these 20 years and direct contact with the government sector, local communities, and international organizations has turned the Iranian Cheetah Society into a mature organization in the field of non-governmental nature conservation activities in Iran. Despite various political, economic, and social crises in these two decades, the Society has not only weathered all these storms but has also grown and expanded its activities. Today, we believe that the fate and survival of the Asiatic cheetah is still in our hands as Iranians, and the Society will use all its power to change the fate of the Iranian cheetah until the last moment. We are undoubtedly indebted to the sacrifices and direct and indirect support of countless members, volunteers, and supporters. Without public support, the Society would never have been able to overcome all these crises and remain a pioneer in protecting the Iranian cheetah after two decades. This short documentary attempts to use images from various activities of the Society over the years. However, since there were no usable and quality images from all activities, especially from activities in the early years, these images are not indicative of all activities and all role-players. Additionally, due to lack of facilities, many activities were not recorded on that time.
The preparation process of “Firooz” and “Iran” at the Touran Cheetah Breeding Center has been successful. These two Asiatic Cheetahs have recently mated.
According to the released video, the two cheetahs first mated at 7:00 AM on Saturday, January 24th. During the following days, they mated a total of seventeen times.
This is a big step forward for Iranian cheetahs conservation. However, we hope that the Department of Environment of Iran properly plans the future. As the next step, “rewilding” is essential in transforming a captive population into a support population of wild cheetahs.
We are grateful to the people involved in this project and wish them continued success.
Cubs will be born in late April if mating succeeds.
Recently, news has been published by various media that there are only 12 Asiatic cheetahs left in Iran. This number, quoting the deputy director of the Department of Environment, although correct, has explanations that are not mentioned in this news.
This number only applies to cheetahs that meet ALL of the following criteria:
- They are wild Cheetahs (3 Captive Asiatic Cheetahs are not counted).
- They are fully identified and have a certified identity card.
- They had identifiable and documented images that show that they are alive during 2020 and 2021.
- They are independent of the mother and can participate in reproduction as a member of an independent population.
From a scientific point of view, cubs are not counted as part of the population as long as they are not successfully separated from the mother. Therefore, the 4 newborn cubs recorded by our cameras in 2021, 3 other cubs that separated from their mother in early 2021, and Cheetahs observed in North Khorasan are also not added to this number as they still don’t have identifiable and independent images.
It should also be noted that the above statistics are in fact “the minimum adult population identified” and do not in any way mean the exact size of the population. Carnivores are not easily seen, it is never possible to give an exact size of their population.
Iranian Cheetah Society is monitoring the Asiatic Cheetahs population for more than 10 years now.
Today is International Cheetah Day and people around the world are spreading the word about this lovely species.
With less than 40 Asiatic Cheetahs left in the world, they are critically endangered subspecies. This year you can support us by donating to our JustGiving page and help us hire an additional ranger in Asiatic Cheetah habitats.
Rangers of Touran National Park captured this footage from a Cheetah family in Touran Biosphere Reserve yesterday. This family was recorded previously and is known as the “Talkhab Family”.