Leopards in Iran? Who knew?

I’ve always loved the big cats. As a kid, I covered my bedroom wall with posters of lions and tigers and pumas (never bears – although bears are great too). I ordered the posters along with my paperbacks through (I think) Scholastic Achievement Books. Every month at school we’d get a chance to buy something new, and it was one indulgence my mother never protested. I read books about wildlife in Africa and memorized the widely different behaviors among lions, leopards and cheetahs. I knew that lions lived together in prides, leopards lived alone in forests and cheetahs are more likely to outrun than outstalk their prey. Cats weren’t the only charismatic megafauna that fascinated me, but they were my favorites.

Today, I remain a fervent fan of all things feline. Although I never managed to work on cat conservation during my two decades in environmental policy, I’m making up for lost time now and learning new things in the process: Like discovering some really big cats that I never knew existed – Persian leopards. Check out my recent article at Earth Touch News Network on endangered Persian leopards and efforts to save them.

If you need a second cat fix, you can read my past post about Wildways Trekker John Davis and the need for wildlife corridors to bring cougars back to the eastern United States. And then of course, for the quick fix, there’s always the ever popular cat pics….

Persian leopard in Golestan National Park, Iran.  Photo by Panthera, courtesy of Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation
Persian leopard in Golestan National Park, Iran. Photo by Panthera, courtesy of Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation

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