July 25, 2017

Do recent leopard Panthera pardus records from northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey reveal an unknown population nucleus in the region?


The status of leopard in Iraq and south-eastern Turkey has been unclear for decades. Because of recent and on-going armed conflicts in important parts of the potential leopard distribution range, no studies were done that could have proved the presence of the species. We report here 10 confirmed and 2 unconfirmed leopard records between 2001 and 2014 from northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey. All records for which the gender of the animal was identified were of males, which could be hypothesized as long-range dispersers from Iran. However, the long distances between our records and the nearest known breeding populations in Iran suggests that a so far unnoticed reproducing population nuclei may occur along the north-western part of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran, northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey.


Posted on July 25, 2017 10:25 by hanaraza hanaraza | 0 comments | Leave a comment