Conservation of Persian cats in Iran nature
- There are eight species of Persian cats in Iranian forests, plains and mountains, proving that the country enjoys an important environment for protection of wildlife.
Iran's nature enjoys a significant diversity of species, and there are thousands of species of animals and plants, including the Persian cat family as one of the most diverse species of carnivores, dating back to 25 million years ago. Today's cats comprise of two subfamilies of Felinae and Pantherinae; however, the third subfamily had gone extinct.
The Hyrcanian tiger, Persian lion, cheetah, leopard, sand cat, Palace cat, caracal, Lynx, wild cat and forest cat are among 10 species of cats in Iran, even though the Hyrcanian tiger and the Persian lion are no more available in the country's wildlife; thus, eight species are living in Iran.
The Department of Environment of Iran has announced that lynx is among the species, which are in danger of becoming extinct.
The Persian tiger is an endangered species whose population is less than 4,000 in natural habitats, and the Hyrcanian tiger (the Mazandaran tiger) became extinct nearly half a century ago.
The Persian lion is another species that was wiped out from Iran's nature about 80 years ago; however, the country imported a lion called Kamran from a zoo in Britain in 2009 and after a while, Ilda joined Kamran in Eram zoo in Tehran.
The Persian leopard is another endangered species, which is on the UN Red List, but the population of this valuable species has been maintained in recent years. More than 30% of the leopard population lives in the northeast of the country as well as the provinces of Khorasan Razavi and North Khorasan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Semnan and Sistan-Baluchestan and some other provinces.
The Persian cheetah is on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning that the cheetah is an endangered species. Cheetahs have been seen in most parts of Asia for 2,000 years, but they are now living in the deserts of Iran.
Lynx is being hunted for its beautiful skin in neighboring countries, but the species is being threatened by shepherds and locals in Iran, because they destroy lynx's habitat.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA