Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 3 Page No.: 639-644 Jan-Mar 2009

 

BIODIVERSITY OF LAST ASIATIC CHEETAHS (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) IN BAFGH AND ARIZ PROTECTED AREA, IRAN

 

Hamidreza Rastegar

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Pune (INDIA)

 

Received on : November 13, 2008

 

ABSTRACT

 

Sometime around first of last century 100,000 cheetahs lived in the world ranging from Philistine to India and all over the African continent. Akbar a Mongolian ruler of the 16th century in India was said to have owned thousands cheetahs. But last cheetah in India was seen in 1948 and today Cheetah as the fastest land animal is facing its biggest challenge in its last territory in Asia, the challenge for survival. Iran is the last country in the Asia, which hosts Asiatic cheetah. Less than 200 cheetah with optimistic estimation remaining in 9 protected areas in Iran.
Though in Africa cheetah found in the open grasslands and savannahs but Asiatic cheetah has adapted itself to live in open vast semi-desert area in center of Iran. Bafgh and Ariz protected area in Yazd province, center of Iran is one of the densest area of cheetah population.
Now many reasons like rapid growing in number of livestock, road construction, mining activity, conflict with other predators and lack of genetic diversity in cheetah are going to make just a memory of Asiatic cheetah. There is need of more national and international attention to save last Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. This paper discusses the main threats for cheetah in Bafgh and Ariz protected area and also some recommendations to save this rare cat.

 

Keywords : Asiatic Cheetah, Biodiversity, Conservation, Extinction.

 

 

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