Thursday, 21 February 2013

Old leopard still roaming Iran

Leopard was first seen in 2004
February 2013. Recent camera trapping in central Iran indicates that an old Persian leopard roams in Bafq Protected Area; the cat is estimated to be at least 12 to 14 years. This adult male was first recorded by camera traps in late 2004, and he was a prime individual at that time. Later, he was photo-trapped regularly and he was the main star in occasional encounters with game wardens and visitors, based on spot patterns comparison. In 2007, he was equipped with GPS collar for six months by CACP, WCS and Panthera, which revealed that he covered most of this 850 square kilometre reserve.
In 2012, the animal was still a dominant male who ranged across most of the reserve, indicating that he is the oldest ever identified Persian leopard in the wild. Large cats normally live no longer than 10 years in the wild, despite their significantly longer lifespan in captivity (sometimes up-to 25 years). Bafq Protected Area which is one of the main hotspots for the Persian leopard in central Iran, is threatened by a proposed road which is planned to pass through the heart of the area.

Read more about the work of The Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) 

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