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Research and Management Practices for Conservation of the Persian Leopard in Iran

  • Book
  • © 2020


  • Introduces historical importance of the Persian leopard in the Iranian art and literature
  • Assesses the leopard transboundary habitats in the Iranian sector of the Caucasus Ecoregion
  • The first introduction to innovative models that predict leopard persistence on the basis of the current potential range in Iran in relation to cumulative effect of land use and land cover variations
  • Predicts landscape corridors to improve leopard distribution pattern connectivity in a metapopulation scale
  • Proposes species-specific threshold levels for land use and land cover variations affecting habitat suitability rates
  • Provides first-hand analysis of Persian leopard research, covering the years 2007 to 2011 with a comparison between these years and leopard status from 2002 to 2006
  • Develop new research practices to create the regional and countrywide Persian leopard distribution models using MAXENT with relative ground validations
  • Provides insight into the protection status, conservation requirements, law, and regulations of the Persian leopard

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About this book

The population of the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) has drastically declined; this Asian leopard subspecies has disappeared from some parts of its former range. Containing large areas of potential habitats with leopard presence across almost all of its provinces, Iran is known to be the last stronghold for the Persian leopard in the region. 

This book comprehensively covers research, management and conservation practices of the Persian leopard, including:

·  The first phase of the Persian Leopard National Action Plan in Iran together with an innovative leopard insurance program and a contingent valuation practice with respect to the wildlife trafficking law enforcement in Iran

·  Research on a hypothesis about the risk of a major fragmentation and splitting the leopard distribution range in Iran into a northern and a southern parts

·  An innovative and empirically fitted species- and region-specific approach forassessing the cumulative effect of land use and land cover changes on the leopard persistence

·  Distribution modeling of leopard potential habitats on a regional basis, accompanied by ground validation techniques

·  An evaluation to three threshold rules to define the habitat suitability indices

·  Persian leopard habitats and relative corridors in the trans-boundary areas of the East Azarbaijan province of the northwest of Iran in the Caucasus Ecoregion. 

The innovative research and conservation approaches presented in this book will be of great interest to those studying the leopard and other large carnivore species. The innovative models presented in this book about cumulative effect of the land use and land cover changes will be beneficial to land use managers, planners and decision makers in selecting wildlife friendly solutions for development programs. The strategic and action planning model as well as the leopard compensation program as an insurance scheme are developed specifically for the local condition and leopard status in Iran.

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Research Programs

  2. Conservation and Management Practices

Editors and Affiliations

  • Asian Leopard Specialist Society, Tehran, Iran, Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia

    Arezoo Sanei

About the editor

Dr. Arezoo Sanei is an Iranian leopard expert who has dedicated 17 years of researching, raising awareness and planning for leopard conservation practices. She holds master’s and PhD degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Management from Universiti Putra Malaysia. Dr. Sanei is the founder of the Asian Leopard Specialist Society. She also established the Persian Leopard Online Portal, the first national leopard database and recording system in Iran, and the Persian Leopard Regional Workshops, which are conducted periodically throughout the country. Additionally, she is the author of the first Persian Leopard National Action Plan in Iran, which has been endorsed by the relative authorities in 2016. Dr. Sanei received the Dr. Taghi Ebtekar International Award and Research and Innovation Award of the Iranian Youth National Festival. Currently, she is working as the strategic supervisor for the execution of the Persian Leopard National Action Plan in Iran at Department of Environment and also establishing the innovative Persian leopard national monitoring scheme, supported by the GEF Small Grant Program at UNDP in Iran.

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