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A second attempt at estimating the cheetah population in Turan Biosphere Reserve
A second attempt at estimating the cheetah population in Turan Biosphere Reserve

In 2012, PWHF tried to estimate what the number of cheetahs was in TBR.

Even though we had 9 thousand camera/night efforts, the data we gathered was insufficient. We then collected even more information on five other cheetahs. Regardless of all this information, we still weren’t able to give a proper estimate of the full cheetah population.

Although these camera traps weren’t successful in our study of the cheetah population, this data helped us in other ways. We were able to estimate the number of Persian leopards and striped hyenas. We also learnt more about the distribution of different species such as the Sand Cat and and the Blanford’s fox.

We continued capturing with the camera traps and rediscovered “Kavus”, the area’s dominant male. The captured frames allowed us to observe his roaming patterns.

Thanks to these cameras, we also found out that there were even more cheetahs than we knew existed.  This set up also showed us the impact that livestock has on the cheetah presence in the area.

With the help of volunteers as well as some experts, the fieldwork took place in June and July of this year. The cameras that remain in place today are still helping us monitor the area.

In order to do so, we have broken down the region into three parts and will examine each of these one by one. We are planning on having about 6000 camera/night efforts and using digital cameras since they are more cost-effective but these numbers may fluctuate.

If we manage to collect even more data, we will continue our efforts and will do more research in order to have an even better understanding of the status of the wildlife in the TBR.

Experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) supervised the team for study design.