3 Asiatic cheetah cubs were born in captivity recently. This was exciting, because this species is on the brink of extinction – there is only thought to be about 12 remaining in the wild, down from about 100 in 2010, a survey in 2017 stated fewer than 50 mature individuals.
Is this the last gasp for this species? Will the sight of a young cub like this never occur again?
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 an impressive wealth of cats living in India. From the Indian tiger (known throughout the world) to the Asiatic lions last home- the gir forests of west india (the asiatic lion once roamed across Asia, throughout southern Europe, across northern and western Africa – therefore there are probably more “Asiatic” lion in Africa than in Asia), 12,000-14,000 leopards remain in the country. The snow leopard also still roams mountains within the country. It also still has a population of clouded leopards. In other words, in terms of big cats, it has all species except Jaguar.
Iran is an Islamic country in Asia and the people are not given much freedom, as they follow a strict version of Islam.
In some respects this is meant that the wildlife in Iran has done reasonably well since the 1979 Revolution. Much of this country is desert but the ecosystem has been significantly depleted over the last couple of centuries. Into the 19th century Asiatic Lions still roamed parts of Iran.