People, Environment

Guide to Iran’s Big Cats Published

Guide to Iran’s Big Cats PublishedGuide to Iran’s Big Cats Published

A comprehensive guide detailing key information on 10 living and extinct cat species in Iran has been published following a joint effort between Iranian and international experts.

Titled “Cats in Iran”, the guide was compiled with the assistance of Cat Specialist Group, a member of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

According to Majid Kharrazian Moqaddam, the head of Wildlife and Biodiversity Office at the Department of Environment, the issue includes up-to-date information on 10 cat species in Iran.

“Distribution, habitats, threats, conservation status, protective measures and management strategies for each species is outlined in the guide,” ISNA quoted the official as saying.

Iran has long been home to some 10 feliformia (“cat-like” carnivores) suborder species, including Asiatic cheetah, Persian leopard, caracal, lynx, Pallas’s cat, sand cat, jungle cat and wild cat, as well as two extinct types, Caspian tiger and Asiatic lion.

The project started in 2010 when a team of experts at DOE and specialists from CSG teamed up with Iranian researchers, photographers and environmentalists to collect, organize and prepare the material.  

Urs Breitenmoser, the head of CSG, believes Iran is one of the key habitats for feliformia across the world. 

“Iran comprises a wide range of climates, providing appropriate living conditions for different cat-like species,” he said, adding that the project is of international significance as it can “help find the missing pieces of puzzle” in feliformia-related projects across the world, Persian-language environment news website reported.

Breitenmoser highlighted close monitoring and investigations on the cat-like species as the key issue and the first step toward their protection.

“The project could be a good start for extending similar researches to the surrounding areas and countries,” he said. 

The guide is currently only available in English.

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