NO.4 -October 2010
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NO.4 -October 2010

PersianLeopardNewsletter No.4 September & October 2010Farzaneh• Persian Leopard in Literatures• The Largest Leopard Skull inthe World• Leopard’s Technical Manuals• Leopards of Iran in theWildlife Middle East• Education for Conservation inYazd• Touran National Park andBiosphere Reserve• The First Persian Leopard inEurope!

PersianLeopardThe Persian Leopard; Formerly Least-Studied,but Now Among the most Studied Mammals in IranProbably one of the most intensivelyinvesgated mammals of Iran, Persianleopards have recently aractedconstant aenon of zoologists and researchhas progressed over the past decade onvarious aspects.The animal first came into modern literaturein Misonne (1959) and Lay (1967). Then itwas described within a number of Iranianbooks, first in Mammals of Iran, co-authoredby Harrington and Dareshuri (1976) with themost detailed descripon in Jamshid’s BigGame of Iran (1976). In 1985, Etemad, theIranian zoologist, compiled all the scienficpublicaons and presented species profile inhis invaluable book Mammals of Iran. In hisbook, he presented data on taxonomy of theleopards within the Iranian range. Joslin whowas managing carnivore conservaon in theIranian Department of Environment (DoE)during mid-1970s also published a typescript,namely as “Leopards in Iran” in 1990 with a briefreview about the species ecology. In 1996, Ziaie“A Field Guide to Mammals of Iran” illustratedgenerally ecology and status of the leopards inIran, then updated in 2008’s second edion.However, the animal has never been studiedspecifically in Iran unl 2002 when Kiabi et al’sclassic paper, entled as “Populaon statusof the Persian leopard in Iran” was published.Aerward, the animal has been extensively/intensively researched within a number of habitatsin the country with up-to 10 university thesison the species. Absence-presence surveys havebeen a main field for recent studies, conductedwithin various areas; however, camera trappingapproaches is going to be more accepted amongthe Iranian biologists. Meanwhile, food habitsand habitat evaluaon are considered as themost intensively studied ecological aspects of theleopards in Iran. Since 2002, almost ten scienficpapers and reports have been internaonallypublished by the Iranian biologists and now besidethe Asiac cheetah; the Persian leopard is goingto be the most-studied cat in Iran. To learn moreabout the available literatures on the species,you can visit Library secon of “Year of Leopard”hyperlink on the ICS website (,5%StatusEcologyTaxonomyn=9,45%n=10,50%Persian leopard literature in Iran2Newsletter No.4Sep. & Oct. 2010

PersianLeopardPersian Leopard’s Technical ManualsThe “Year of Leopard” commiee hashad various efforts to increase scienficknowledge on leopard issues amongexperts and students in Iran. Spreadingscienfic results of leopard studies toprovincial DoE offices is one of the plans whichis pursued. Novel methods to study leopardstatus and conservaon needs are the mainsubject of the arcles. As the first volume,“Reproducon ecology of Persian leopardin Sarigol Naonal Park-North east Iran” hastranslated in Persian and released. The studywas done by a team of ICS researchers andpublished in 2009 in journal of Zoology inthe Middle East. The survey was carried outfrom April 2005-March 2008 and cameraCamera Trap/ICStraps were used in mang seasons to roughlyassess the leopard reproducon ecology.Results show that mang season of thePersian leopard extends from mid-January toa peak in mid-February. Meanme, no signof raising more than 2 cubs were found.Leopards of Iran inWildlife Middle EastAs a high-quality informaonresource, the quarterly “WildlifeMiddle East News” is dedicatedto present the most recent acviesconcerning vanishing wildlife of theMiddle East and surrounding region. Inits September issue, an arcle is releasedexplaining ICS’ goal of celebrang thisyear as the “Year of Leopard”, with a focuson the Persian Leopard Newsleer. Thisissue, along with others, is available todownload on: www.wmenews.comLeopard FootagePeople who havespent yearsin search ofthe Persian leopardperfectly know thatsighng the elusive catis a manner of chance, not skill. Ehsan Ranjbaran’sstory could be a proof for this! Indeed, during sportclimbing in vicinity of Taleghan - a small town nearthe capital of Tehran – he encountered a largeanimal far away and hardly was able to recognizethe leopard resng on top of a rocky terrain. Ehsan’sspong is one of the few confirmed records of theleopard presence in Tehran, though historically; theanimal flourished in many parts of the province.Ranjbaran4Leopards in Iran’s widely-circulated Print Newspaper!“A New Era for Leopards in Iran”, discussedthe threats to the today largest cats ofcountry and addressed urgent acvies toguarantee the survival of animal within itslast stronghold.Astatement is released by FarshidJafarzadeh, ICS’ Year of Leopardcoordinator, in HamshahriNewspaper, one of the top circulated dailynewspapers of Iran. The arcle, entled asNewsletter No.4Sep. & Oct. 2010

PersianLeopardThe First Persian Leopard in Europe!Impact of unleashed developmentand human activities on ecosystemsand living organisms is an issue ofinterest to study for many conservationbiologists and researchers. In countrieslike Iran, with very limited background ofbiological studies until recent decades,current knowledge issues like historicalanimal diversity and distribution isreally scarce. Regarding to absence ofany solid references, sometimes eventraveler’s essays are unique evidencesof understanding the status of a speciesor today invaluable reserve during aspecific period of time. In such situation,every word is count and could drawattention to aspects that previously wasnot shown to us.Considering all of these, you can imaginestory of a biologist in Iran’s 1930s howinvaluable could be! And as a leopardfan, Gerd Heinrich’s Auf PanthersucheDurch Persien (A Panther Searchthrough Persia) would be definitely ashould-to-read when it comes in Englishfor the first time by Bernd Heinrich!Indeed, Bernd has designated a chapterin his 2007 book (The Snoring Bird: MyFamily’s Journey through a Century ofBiology) to the main story when hisfather and stepmother were collectingbirds for Berlin’s Humboldt Museum,with a special wish from Berlin Zoo tobring back a panther (leopard) fromPersia.Although ancestors of today captivePersian leopards has been importedby Cincinnati Zoo (Shoemaker 1985),it seems that probably, Peter (Gerd’spanther) has been the first of its ownbringing to an international zoo. Thewhole story is completely engrossing,especially when it came to counterbuyingthe leopard from a Persianmilitary officer who was asking theirguns, tent, binoculars and camera!According to Bernd’s final sentencesin this chapter, Peter spent manyyears in Berlin Zoo until World War IIthat probably was killed with all otherinhabitants by bombs.Iranian Cheetah Society would like toexpress its sincere thanks to Dr. BerndHeinrich for kindly donating a volumeof his book to the ICS’s library.Newsletter No.4Sep. & Oct. 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‣ People’s Trust for EndangeredSpecies (PTES), UK‣ Allwetter Munster Zoo, Germany‣ Bordar Mabna Ltd.m IranWe still need your help to save thevanishing Persian leopards in IranNewsletter Editorial Team:‣ Ehsan M. Moqanaki‣ Mohammad S. Farhadinia‣ Elmira ShaerbafiLayout:‣ 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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