SHAHRUD, Dec. 28 (MNA) – Head of Touran Biosphere Reserve (TBR) in Shahrud has announced a recent sighting of four Asiatic cheetahs there.
Ali Akbar Ghorbanlou, while expressing satisfaction over the sighting and photographing of four Asiatic cheetahs in Touran Biosphere Reserve, added that the Department of Environment has given a lot of attention to this protected area, making necessary preparations for increasing preys, thus leading to a raise in the numbers of cheetahs.
This year’s drop in rainfalls had caused a considerable reduction in cheetahs’ preys such as deer, rams, sheep and rabbits, but the problem was soon tackled with by the assistance of Semnan Environment Protection Administration in providing forage to increase the number of preys for the cheetahs to feed on.
While lamenting the recent death of two mature cheetahs that were struck and killed by motor vehicles on the main Tehran-Mashhad road in Khar-Touran region, he called on environmental activists to raise awareness and take proper steps to prevent any more of such tragic accidents in the future.
The territory today known as Touran (Khar-Touran) is a Protected Area within the borders of Iran in the southern part of Shahrud, covering 1.4 million hectares. Home to some 50 various species, it is the second largest biosphere reserve in the world.
Iran is home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah. Listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, the Asiatic cheetah is among the rarest cats in the world at subspecies level, after the Amur leopard. At the moment, the number of Asiatic cheetahs in Iran has been estimated at 70.
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