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Fourth Persian leopard found dead

Source: Mehr News Agency

BOJNORD, Jun. 11 (Mehr News Agency) - Head of North Khorasan provincial Department of Environment office has announced the discovery of the corpse of fourth Persian leopard since the beginning of the current solar year (beginning March 2015).

Persian Leopard
(cartoon by Saeed Sadeghi)

Ali Asghar Motahari told reporters on Thursday morning that the corpse of Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica or Panthera pardus saxicolor) was found by the local people in a border region of Maneh and Samalqan, and Raz and Jergelan; "the corpse was transferred to the Department of Environment local office for more investigation of causes of death; the corpse seems to be a month-old and part of it has been eaten by other carnivorous animals in the region; of the whole body of the leopard, only skull, ribs, and some bones are left," he detailed.

"With a long time passing of the leopard's death, no trace of being shot by a gun has yet been detected; given the young age of the leopard, we speculate that other animals would be the cause of the death of the leopard; anyway, the investigation to find the cause of death is underway," Motahari told reporters.

Motahari lamented the fact that since the beginning of the current year, four Persian leopards had been found dead in the province. "The leopard is a flagship of the ecosystem of the region, and decimation of its population would undermine the finely held natural balance; with reduced population of leopard, the number of wolves and wild hogs in the region rises with the consequence being damage to farmers and cattle breeders," he said.

North Khorasan province covers an area of 2,800,000 hectares, of which 194,141 hectares being located in three national parks of Salouk, Sarigol, and Zamen-e Ahou (the Guardian of the Gazelle); the protected areas of Salouk, Sarigol, Qarkhoud, Galoul, and Sarani, and Miandasht Wildlife Refuge are protected by the Department of Environment.

The province hosts an abundance of 65 mammal species out of a total of 197 nationwide species, 141 bird species out of a total of 532 nationwide species, 68 species of reptiles out of 228 total possible nationwide, 4 species of amphibian reptiles of a total of 20 nationwide species and 8 species of fish out of 160 aquatic animals nationwide; some species as Asiatic cheetah, Caspian snowcock, Egyptian vulture, houbara bustards have been categorized in Red List of Threatened Species of IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Other species in the province of wildlife such as goat, deer, eagles, and Dalmatian pelican are also categorized in the list of IUCN's vulnerable species.

cartoon by Mohammad Tahani, Arman daily

... Payvand News - 06/11/15 ... --

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