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PWHF experts in pursuit of the Asiatic cheetah in the Golestan National Park
PWHF experts in pursuit of the Asiatic cheetah in the Golestan National Park

Following the sighting of an Asiatic cheetah in the Mirza-Baylu region of the Golestan National Park (GNP) by Mr. Valizadeh, the head of Maneh and Samalghan office of the Department of Environment, PWHF experts along with experts from the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP) left for the GNP this morning (October 15th 2014).

Their mission is to do a field survey and install camera traps. According to confirmed reports, last sightings of Asiatic Cheetah in the GNP go back to around 40 years ago. Therefore, the new sighting is a rare occurrence that merits an all-out study.

Analysis of past sightings of Asiatic cheetahs in the protected areas of the Northern Khorasan and Semnan Provinces in the past 10 years had indicated that it would be possible to expect expansion of Asiatic cheetahs into the steppe lands of the GNP. Presence of Asiatic cheetah in this National Park, after final confirmation, will add Golestan Province to the list of Asiatic cheetah habitats.

The experts of the PWHF have been working on a project to study the status of the Persian Leopard in the GNP since 2010. The fact that the Foundation is a signatory to the second phase of CACP and the personnel of the Foundation have been active in the monitoring and other activities related to the conservation of Asiatic cheetah were additional reasons for us to send our team of experts to the GNP.