Persian Leopard
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Persian Leopard

PersianLeopardNewsletter No.5 November & December 2010JannatiGreetings from the PersianLeopards in Iran! ................ 2Persian Leopard Food Habitsin Golestan National Park . 3Conservation Model for thePersian Leopard ................. 4Biodiversity Education inKalmand, Central Iran ....... 5Bafq Protected Area .......... 6Fatal Encounter in Gilan ....

PersianLeopardGreetings from the PersianLeopards in Iran!This issue of the Persian LeopardNewsleer is different in just asingle page, compared to previousvolumes. The year is changing to 2011in a few days so we have commied tochange our style in order to share withyou, definitely, the happiest moment forus at the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) inthe Year of Leopard!This is the story: Since early 2010, ICS hasbeen producing a documentary movieabout the Persian leopard in Iran. Recently,the ICS film crew was successful to capturean impressive longshot of an adult malein Golestanak Reserve!The area hosts intensiveresearch programs onbrown bear as well as theleopard since 2005 (youcan read about this studyon the volume 3, August2010). Aer connuoustracking by the biologists,a passive HD camera trapdesigned by an Iraniantechnician was quitehelpful to trap the animalwhile exhibing his territorial behavior.The animal is on a scrape, urinang anddefecang, and then it sniffs and licksanother scrape, possibly to find a mate! Itwas a big success for all of us before theend of 2010 as the year of leopard in Iranand encourages our film crew to work muchmore to produce a presgious movie.We would like to thanks you all for anykind of supporng and wish you peace andprosperity this holiday. Season’s greengsand merry Christmas to our in-holidayfriends!Passive HD camera-trap/ICS2Newsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 2010

PersianLeopardPersian Leopard Food Habits inGolestan National ParkThe study entled “the Persianleopard diet in different landscapesof Golestan Naonal Park (GNP)”conducted during February 2009 toFebruary 2010, as the Master thesis of ICS’research associate, Elmira Shaerbafi.The carnivore’s diet depicts their likelypotenal preys asShakibawell as behavioraland physiologicaladaptaons of a species.It is also important inparcular about theapex predators like theleopard, to understandtheir feeding ecology inorder to guarantee thespecies survival in theframe of saving its prey.The most effecvemethod for this kindof studies is ‘fieldobservaons’ which isnot always performable.So, faecal analysis wasused to define the animal food habits. 115scat samples which were used in this study,showed a significant difference between thefrequency of preys which were used by theleopard. The dominant prey items in the scatswere remains of the wild boar Sus scrofa andthe wild sheep Ovis orientalis, respecvely.This is also approved according to the directobservaons by GNP’sgame wardens.There was no significantdifference between thedry and wet seasons,neither in steppeand forest habitats.results of this study.Furthermore, duringstomach and intesneanalyses of two subadultleopards whichhad been killed in roadincidents inside thepark, Indian crestedporcupine Hystrix indicaremains were foundintensively. A paper is inpreparaon to releaseShaerbafiZamaniNewsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 20103

PersianLeopardConservation Model for the Persian Leopard:Sarigol National Park, Northeastern IranThe endangered Persian leopard hasrecently aracted numerous researchefforts in Iran; however, it is highlyimportant that research projects supportand improve the conservaon status ofthe cat’s habitats. Established in 2005, theProject Persian Leopard in Sarigol NaonalPark is the oldest, but sll ongoing, effort inIran to save the species. It is composed ofCamera Trap/ICSthree main strands which aim to promoteconservaon of the area. Ecologicalresearch was mainly conducted withinthe naonal park to explore populaonparameters, food habits, reproducon,and prey demographics. At the sameme, research was carried out in localcommunies, a partnership was formedwith local stakeholders and educaonalprograms were implemented.Finally, the project results werereported to the Department ofEnvironment for consideraonin formulang proteconmeasures.A complete report about lessonslearned from Sarigol leopardproject has been published inautumn 2010 issue of IUCN/SSCCat Specialist Group’s Cat Newswhich soon will be available onthe ICS website.4“Save the VanishingLeopards” on RadioIn November 2010, ICS’ ManagingDirector, Morteza Eslami, featuredon a special program in Farhang (=culture) Radio about the Persian leopardand Asiac cheetahs in Iran. Mortezadiscussed the cheetah status from pastto now, the animal potenal preys andits known habitats in the country. Healso described threats that the Persianleopards are already facing in their laststronghold. ICS’s educaonal acvies inthe Year of Leopard were another issueto be presented by Morteza in this publicmedia.Newsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 2010Leopard FootageMirza KarimiKuh-Sefid PA, which is located in Damavandterritory and is extended to Semnanprovince borders, is known for rare shotsof a Pallas cat in late 2008. Recently, movie of aleopard from the area has put it in top wildlifenews of the month. The animal was roaming ona sheer cliff, when Abbas Mirza Karimi - head ofDamavand office of DoE - captured a movie ofthe enigmac cat. The movie is long enough toshow the animal in a nice close view.

PersianLeopardBiodiversity Education in Kalmand, Central IranThe Kalmand-BahadoranProtected Area (KBPA) isthe home for developingbiodiversity educaonalacvies, which is launchedin March 2010. KBPA is oneof the main hotspots of theendangered Persian leopard inCentral Iran and is considered tobe among the last refuges of thecrically endangered Asiac cheetah in Iran. Theproject is supposed to focus on local residents ofthe Mehriz town, as well as relevant villages.A variety of threats have beenidenfied in this area affecngadversely survival of the specieswith poaching and habitat loss asthe most important. Moreover,impact of the main regional transitrout - which is passed through thearea - on the KBPA’s biodiversity, is much cricizedover recent years because of confirmed death of5 Asiac cheetahs in road incidents. Therefore,Updates for the PersianLeopard Library!New documentaons on leopards inIran have been added to the Persianleopard bibliography at the ICS’website. Also, Dr. Colin Groves kindly helpedus to prepare an e-copy of Zukowsky’s 1964renowned paper on the subspecies ofleopards, including the Persian leopard.CACP/Yazd DoEwith respect to poaching whichhas been boosted up recentlyby local youths in KBPA, theeducaonal program was startedby the Iranian Cheetah Society(ICS). Hence, this project istraining people in different agegroups associated with relevantproblems in the area in orderto protect regional biodiversityand important species, especially the big cats.Negoang with local stakeholders and developingthe baseline of site’s socio-economic informaonhad been the inial steps ofconducng this project. Also,similar experiences of the past ICS’project in Bafq were shared withlocal partners to be more familiarBabrgirwith the project trend. KBPA’sgame wardens were recognizedto be highly essenal in success of the project, sothey were asked to prepare the project’s goals andoutcomes. Finally, the project was connued in localschools, aer preliminary knowledge assessment tomeasure the project’s impact aer the workshops.Meanwhile, six field-visits for all local studentshas been planned to visit the area and learn morepraccally about its rich biodiversity. Their teacherswill be also trained by the ICS’ educators to becomemore environmental-friendly teachers.The Kalmand educaonal project is implemenngwith cooperaon of Yazd Department ofEnvironment with inial funding from Royal DutchEmbassy in Tehran and will last unl spring 2011Leopard Loss Counter (november & december 2010)In a strange case, a male leopard found dead on ahigh-voltage power line in Northeastern Iran. Theanimal was obviously shot by poachers but the wholestory is still unclear. Another leopard is also confirmed tobeing poached in the Caspian region. Moreover, rumorsclaim two leopards were shot in Southern Iran.Razavi Khorasan DOENewsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 20105

PersianLeopardBafq Protected AreaThe 88527ha (Kuh-e) Bafq Protected Area(BPA) is designated at the northeast ofYazd Province, Central Iran. The area isparcularly a great mountainous range withsome 70 Kilometers long and owns sparse plainsand rolling hills. Extraaridand arid climatesare dominants inBPA but vegetaoncover is moderatelyrich. Basically, BPA isKhajehwell-known for a tragicevent for cheetahs ofIran. On 31 August 1994, a few months old cheetahcub along with her two sisters and mother came toa spring adjacent to the city of Bafq to drink somewater in a hot noon. Unfortunately, the family wasaacked by some local people,the mother run away and just‘Marita’ was rescued out ofthe three young cheetahs.Marita lived in Pardisan Parkll 2003, as the only capveAsiac cheetahs in the world.Since 2007, the Cheetah Dayhas been celebrated by variousIranian NGOs and the Iranian Department of theEnvironment (DoE)’s Conservaon of the AsiacCheetah Project (CACP) in which numerouseducaonal programs were held inside the maincies as well as local communies around thecheetah habitat.BPA is a good leopard country in such aridenvironment in Central Iran. The area supportshealthy population of Persian ibex and wild sheepwhich could sustainleopards. The animal iscaptured several timesby game wardens,most recently inOctober2010 on an ibexkill. Meanwhile, othercarnivores includingthe secretive caracal, grey wolf, stripped hyena andgolden jackals occur in the area. The first ever radiotelemetrystudy in Iran also was conducted in BPA,in collaboration between CACP, DoE, UNDP, WCS,Panthera and ZSL by capturing2 adult cheetahs and a maleleopard in 2007. However, oneof the cheetahs killed - probably- by a resident leopard a fewmonths later and the secondanimal was lost after finding itsKhajehKarimiradio-collar without any signs.The leopard was tracked beforedropping its collar which gave scientists the first dataon the subspecies’ ranging patterns.See Hunter et al. (2007) for more informaonconcerning this project.6TeymouriNewsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 2010

During early July 2008, while patrollingDeylaman No-Hunng Area up inforested mountains of Gilan Province,northern Iran, foresters encountered freshbody of a young male leopard on a trail withfresh kill of an adult female Maral red deerhidden among bushes. As reported to Gilanoffice of Department of the Environment(DoE), local experts visited the area and settwo camera traps.They expected tocapture anotherleopard as signsof a bigger animalwere seen there.They were right andthe animal guilty incharge was phototrapped!It was anadult male whowas supposed tokill the young maleyesterday.According to Balme 2010; male leopards areterritorial, defending a defined home rangethat contains sufficient resources to ensurePersianLeopardFatal Encounter in Gilantheir survival and, more importantly, accessto reproducve females. Such defense isnormally passive: an individual adverseshis presence by means of scent marking ora disncve rasping call. Familiar neighborsrecognize one another and generally respecteach other’s boundaries. But problems arisewhen a newcomer enters the scene.Leopards fatal combats have been alreadyreported fromCameraTrap/ Gilan DoEother parts of Iran,especially fromTandureh andGolestan NaonalParks (two of thehighest densityleopard populaonsin the country) whenbody of males werefound with obvioussigns of seriousinjuries, but it wasfor the first me thatsuch an aggressive intra-sexual interaconhas been confirmed across the Persianleopard range in Iran.Gilan DoEGilan DoENewsletter No.5Nov. & Dec. 20107

Special thanks to …The Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) wouldlike to thank the following people andorganizations for their generous supportto save the Persian leopards in Iran:‣ Amersfoort Zoo, the Netherlands‣ Conservation des Espèces et desPopulations Animales (CEPA), France‣ Parc des Felins, France‣ People’s Trust for EndangeredSpecies (PTES), UK‣ Prins Bernhard Natuur Fonds,the Netherlands‣ Royal Dutch Embassy in TehranNewsletter Editorial Team:‣ Ehsan M. Moqanaki‣ Mohammad S. Farhadinia‣ Elmira Shaerbafi‣ Saba SohrabiniaLayout:‣ Hamidreza MirzadehContact us on:persianleopard@wildlife.irIranian Cheetah Society (ICS) is a non-governmental,non-profitable organization devoted to save the biodiversitywhich is so rich, but disappearing in Iran. Carnivores haveessential priority within the ICS activities and variousresearch and conservation projects have been implementedon the species, such as Asiatic cheetah, brown bear, stripedhyeana, grey wolf, Eurasian lynx, caracal, mustelids andPersian leopard whose more than two third of its wildpopulation occurs in Iran. It has been established in 2001(registration number 13640) and hopes to celebrate its firstdecade of biodiversity conservation soon.To learn more about Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS)visit:

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