People, Environment

Persian Leopard Found Dead

Persian Leopard Found DeadPersian Leopard Found Dead

A Persian leopard has been found dead in Beirami Mountains inside the Tangestan natural reserve in Bushehr Province.

According to the Public Relations Office of the provincial Department of Environment, a team of environmental protection unit and officers was dispatched to the site for investigation on Thursday.

Based on the report, the animal was dead when it was discovered and the carcass had begun to decompose, IRNA reported.

Environmental experts say no traces of hunting have been found on the carcass, but an autopsy is required to determine the cause of death.

Persian leopards are among the most threatened animals in the world, with Iran among their last remaining habitat. They are classified as “endangered” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Studies have shown that 71% of all Persian leopard fatalities in Iran are attributed to illegal hunting or poisoning by shepherds trying to protect their livestock.

Furthermore, road accidents accounted for 27% of leopard deaths between 2007 and 2014. Over the past eight years, 166 leopards have died across the country.

Measures, including fencing of roads that run through leopard’s habitats and insuring the animal to compensate those (such as shepherds) who suffer losses caused by the leopard, have helped reduce fatalities.

According to DOE, the number of Persian leopard deaths in the year ending Dec. 20, 2016, declined by 62% compared with the corresponding period of last year.

Efforts to protect the Persian leopard will not only help the species, but other wildlife as well, making the leopard a so-called umbrella species.

Due to its wide distribution, protecting the endangered species will also help conserve the populations of other animals that share the same habitat.

Tangestan and Dashtestan, the mountainous areas in the southern province of Bushehr, are habitats of the valuable endangered species.

The implementation of various protection schemes and improvement of living conditions have increased the Persian leopard's population in natural reserves.


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