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Persian fallow deer returns to original habitat in Dez, Karkheh region

TEHRAN, Jan. 2 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran's Department of Environment (DOE) is planning to reintroduce a number of Persian fallow deer into their original habitat, Dez and Karkheh region in southern Iran.

Iran's Department of Environment (DOE) is planning to by the yearend (Iranian year ends March 20, 2006) reintroduce a number of the Persian fallow deer (Dama Dama Mesopotamica) into their original habitat, Dez and Karkheh region located in the southern province of Khuzestan, the Persian service of ILNA news agency quoted the head of DOE Fatemeh Vaez-Javadi as saying on Tuesday.

Since the discovery of the small population of the Persian subspecies of the fallow deer in the western foothills of the Zagros Mountains in the 1950s, reintroduction and captive-breeding projects were initiated in an island located in Urmia Lake, northwestern Iran.

However, by 1988, the last wild population was on the verge of extinction, and individuals were taken to establish a semi-captive herd of 140 deer. A captive-breeding group was also established in Germany, and individuals from there were sent to a reserve in Israel.

The Persian fallow deer kept in zoos are often not pure. They have a smaller head, longer neck and are usually taller than European fallow deer. The most obvious difference is the antlers, which do not form palms like European fallows.

Currently, around 200 Persian fallow deer, Dama Dama Mesopotamica, are living at the wildlife reserves in Urmia Lake.

... Payvand News - 1/3/07 ... --

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