International Society For Endangered Cats

A Voice For The Wild Cats of the World

Caracals in Iran

As a medium-sized cat in Iran, the caracal has been rarely studied in the wild. In some areas, the animal suffers from persecution by communities, particularly whenever they are seen near livestock.

Following several reports of caracal poaching in eastern country by local people, a rapid assessment of human-caracal interaction was implemented by the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) in Ark & Korang Protected Area, South Khorasan province which borders Afghanistan. Systematic inquiries with local shepherds indicated significantly higher depredation by wolves in the area; however, the caracal has been reported to be in charge in some cases within three main villages. Presently, obtained data are analyzed to present to the South Khorasan Department of Environment to indicate intensity of conflict and measures to reduce it. Meanwhile, local volunteers have been trained to find evidence of the caracal and to deploy camera traps.

With an area of around 300 km2, Ark & Korang Protected Area is a recently established protected area in eastern country which inhabits a variety of typical species, including carnivores. However, intensive conflict between people and communities has been reported to Iranian Department of Environment which is a natural consequence of heavy depletion of prey species, i.e. ungulates. Eastern Iran has been never properly surveyed for carnivores and presently, the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) has been launching three different projects to study the carnivores from north near Afghanistan border to south where is not far from Pakistan.

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