»
»
Rare observation of five Asiatic Cheetahs in the Touran Biosphere Reserve
Rare observation of five Asiatic Cheetahs in the Touran Biosphere Reserve

On the evening of 19th of October, 2013 a group of field experts from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) accompanied by one of the Touran game wardens observed and documented a female Asiatic Cheetah and her four cubs in the “Harb area” within the core zone of Touran National Park, Semnan, Iran.

Amirhossein Khaleghi, Hamed Abolghasemi from PWHF, Ahmad Ajami (local expert) and Roohollah Yousefi (Tourans’ Game warden) were on a field trip to check PWHF remote camera traps and unexpectedly came upon this family of Asiatic Cheetahs.

The same Cheetah family had been observed and reported on by some local shepherds almost a month ago, but on this occasion the PWHF team was able to take photos as well as some video photo footage of these elusive endangered cats.

PWHF initially began a conservation program for the Touran Biosphere Reserve in June of 2012. This was the first initiative of it’s kind since there have only been a few conservation related activities in Touran regarding presence/absence surveys by the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah project (CACP) and community empowerment projects funded by the Small Grant Programme (SGP/GEF/UNDP). Observation of this large Cheetah family signifies the importance of the Touran Biosphere Reserve as one of the last Asiatic Cheetah refuges in the world.

The current local activities of PWHF take place with the collaboration of the Semnan Province DoE office and CACP with the goal of mitigating the livestock-wildlife conflict in Touran. In addition, PWHF also monitors identified individual cheetahs.