Inter-dependent movements of Asiatic Cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus venaticus and a Persian Leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in a desert environment in Iran (Mammalia: Felidae)

Farid Cheraghi, Mahmoud Reza Delavar, Farshad Amiraslani, Kazem Alavipanah, Eliezer Gurarie, Houman Jowkar, Luke Hunter, Stephane Ostrowski, William F. Fagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the simultaneous and sympatric movements of a coalition of two Asiatic Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) and a Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), two rare and highly mobile large felids in Bafq Protected Area, Iran. The animals were tracked with GPS collars for 4.5 to 9 months at a temporal resolution of eight hours. The cheetahs used lower elevations areas (average: 1600 m), and remained more distant to the surrounding highways of (average: 14.5 km) than the leopard (average: 1.8 km and 12.3 km, respectively). The leopard’s home range (408 km2) was almost entirely within the larger home ranges of the cheetah coalition (1,137 km2). We found that the leopard approached more closely to either of the cheetahs in the rare occasions when they were separated, though whether that was the response of the cheetahs to the leopard or vice versa is unknown. This interaction eventually culminated in the leopard killing one of the cheetahs, the first documented proof of lethal competition between cheetah and leopard in Iran. The combined risks of larger home ranges beyond the protected areas with higher probability of encounters with humans, of highway crossing, and predation by Persian Leopards contribute to the particularly precarious situation of the Asiatic Cheetah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-292
Number of pages10
JournalZoology in the Middle East
Volume65
Issue number4
Early online date28 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Spatial ecology
  • wildlife interaction
  • wildlife tracking

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