Between October and November 2016, the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) surveyed Siah-Kouh National Park and Protected Area after a four-year gap. This camera-trapping survey is a part of ICS’s nation-wide cheetah monitoring program to assess the population status of cheetahs in multiple reserves in central and north-eastern Iran.
More than 26,000 photos and videos of wildlife were obtained during this survey using 22 remotely-triggered camera traps. No photograph of the Critically-Endangered Asiatic cheetah was obtained during this survey. The last known hard evidence of cheetah occurrence in Siah-Kouh was obtained in 2012. However, several photographs of sympatric large and medium-sized carnivores were gathered during this survey, including the gray wolf, caracal, Blanford’s fox, and Rüppell’s fox.
Siah-Kouh National Park and Protected Area are two reserves together covering about 2,000 km2 in the remote desert region between Yazd and Esfahan Provinces in Central Iran. Prolonged drought and more than 300 free-ranging camels grazing both Protected Area and National Park are perceived as main threats to wildlife of Siah-Kouh. The present survey was conducted in collaboration with Yazd Provincial Office of Iran Department of Environment, Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project, and a local NGO in Ardakan County.