Only 12 Asiatic cheetah are left in the wild!

At the minimum, the Amur leopard population fell to as low as 30 individuals. The Asiatic cheetah is therefore far closer to extinction. At the current time there are thought to be 9 males and 3 females left in the wild. Given that in 2010 there were around 100, while this is still a highly threatened species clearly the threats to their continued existence have not gone away.

There is some debate about how genetically distinct Asiatic cheetah are. However, if fully lost, it may be able to import African cheetah to refill the ecological niche. Saving the last few would always be preferable however

There are only 3 Asiatic cheetah in captivity, so if they are lost from the wilds of Iran, we cannot reintroduce.

According to research in the area, the cheetah decline has a number of reasons, from drought, hunting, habitat destruction and loss of prey due to humans hunting and removing it.

Once a wide ranging animal, living across India Pakistan Russia and the middle east, it now exists in a tiny fraction of its range in Iran. Unfortunately the Revolutionary Guard of Iran is highly suspicious of any conservation work, and have arrested conservationists on many occasions. In 2017 they arrested 7 for spying for the USA and Israel and “seeking proximity to military sites with the cover of the environmental projects and obtaining military information from them”.

This is a strange charge to lay as the only “classified dirt” that they would have accessed would be dried stool of the cheetah.

Unfortunately due to the countries extreme harsh behaviour towards those suspected of wrong-doing, no matter how far fetched, means that false confessions are regularly extracted under torture.

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