The General Director of provincial office of Iran’s Department of Environment in North Khorasan Ali Asghar Motahhari told Mehr News correspondent about the cameras installed in the reservoir in late May which have captured 2,000 shots of the wildlife in the region.
In addition to Asiatic cheetah, the cameras have also trapped some caracal, deer, fox, wolf, jackal, rabbit and a plethora of birds in their shots.
The Asiatic cheetah or Iranian cheetah is a critically endangered species now on the verge of extinction and an important part of Iran’s natural and cultural heritage.
It is estimated that around 8 to 10 Asiatic Cheetahs inhibit in the reservior, the official said.
He also expressed content with the cameras installed as they help monitoring and counting the species in the refuge.
In the early 20th century, the population of the Asiatic cheetah distributed across many countries, including India, Pakistan, the Middle East and Russia.
Currently, the only existing population lives in the northeastern Iranian scrublands, where only 50 to 70 individuals are estimated to survive in the wild.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Iran is directing a project in conjunction with Iran’s Department of the Environment dubbed the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP).
Iran is home to the last known population of Asiatic cheetah which is among the rarest cats in the world at subspecies level, after the Amur leopard.