Persian leopard as the biggest leopard in the world is in verge of extinction, so we want to conserve this flagship species and changing it's position in IUCN redlist
The Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) is among the largest leopard subspecies which is listed in the 2007 IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species as "Endangered". Its distribution area spreads across the remote high mountains of Iran, Afghanistan,
Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia which consist of diverse climates and landscapes. Total population size of this
subspecies does not exceed 1300 individuals (Khorozyan et al., 2005); most of the cats are found in Iran (550-850 animals) (Kiabi
et al., 2002). However, over the past 25 years in many areas of this vast range the leopard was exterminated and in the others its
numbers were significantly reduced. The drastic decline of population size has been a result of poaching, prey reduction and habitat
loss. Surprisingly, no direct actions focused on Persian leopard conservation have been carried out in Iran and the cat is on the
verge of extinction.
This project was initiated in June 2007 in Bamu National Park to protect leopards with the help of experienced conservationists and
local communities under financial support provided by individual donors.
Recently, we have launched intensive camera-trapping in the
defined sites, scat sampling for dietary and molecular analysis
and pilot awareness-raising campaigning in several villages
adjacent to the area. We anticipate that our project in Bamu
NP will serve a model for continuous on-the-ground
conservation throughout the leopard range in Iran.
The overall goals of the project are two: (1) Assess the status
and structure of the leopard population in Bamu NP; and (2)
Develop and launch the leopard conservation strategy in this
protected area. To accomplish these ambitious goals, we will
need to elaborate the action plan which would ensure the long-
term survival of local leopards on a basis of baseline
ecological data, involvement of local rural communities in
biodiversity-related issues and establishment of local trust for
1. Radio-tracking of Persian leopards in Bamu NP to study the habitat use patterns, home-range sizes and behaviour.