Follow up to ANIMAL POST of October 24.

Asiatic Cheetahs in Iran (Photo: Iranian Cheetah Society)

A family of Asiatic cheetahs has been photo-trapped for the first time in the Miandasht Wildlife Refuge in north-eastern Iran. The adult cheetah and her three cubs were recorded on several occasions while coming to water sources to drink.

Unlike African cheetahs, Iranian cats are virtually invisible. They live at the lowest density recorded anywhere for the species, one to two cats per 1,000 square kilometers; the same-size area on East African plains can hold 100 cheetahs.

Intensely shy, scattered like grains of sand over Iran’s vast central plateau, they are impossible to see. However, SLR camera traps deployed by National Geographic photographer Frans Lanting and monitored by Iranian biologists have resulted in beautiful images.

The camera trap project was a partnership between Nat Geo, Iran Department of Environment, the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project, PWF and Panthera.

A Panthera blog about the cheetah project can be found here.