International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Great Sand Cat News

After around two years of field surveys and tracking, the Iranian Cheetah Society film crew has successfully filmed a sand cat for the first time in Iran. As a joint film project, the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) and Naein Department of Environment have been collaborating to produce a documentary movie about Abbas Abad Wildlife Refuge’s rich biodiversity which three HD shots of around one hour were caught during winter 2011.

Photo copyright Iranian Cheetah Society

The sand cat is one of the most elusive felids in the world and is very difficult to study using trigger camera traps. The films show natural behavior of the animal, both during day and night (with infra-red light) which is useful for scientists to gain a better perception of the animal which is rarely seen in the wild.

Based on the Iran Cat Database program initiated and updated since 2007 by the ICS, Abbas Abad is one of few confirmed habitats for the sand cat in Iran which holds colonies of the species. It is adapted to live in extreme arid environments with long fur under its paws for better movements among sand dunes.

The animal has been killed by herd dogs on a few occasions in past years, but a sand cat was recently saved from herders. The ICS’ biologists implemented investigation on the animal before releasing and used this animal to educate local herders about this animal, hopefully to prevent more dog-caused mortalities of this small felid.

Now, parallel to producing a documentary movie, the ICS plans to launch the first radio-telemetry project on the sand cat in Iran.

See more of the wonderful work done by the Iranian Cheetah Society on cheetahs. leopards and wildlife of Iran.

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