[Video] A pair of Rare & Endangered Persian Leopard Spotted in Hazarganji Chiltan National Park Balochistan
The Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department has shared videos and pictures of the rare species of a leopard pair. The pair of leopards found on Mount Chiltan (Koh-e-Chiltan) were called Persian leopards, whose habitat is mostly from Iran to Central Asia and Balochistan.
According to Mr Sharifuddin Baloch (Chief Conservator of Wildlife Balochistan) “When the signs of the presence (of the leopard) were found in Chiltan Park, we took cameras and binoculars to the Chiltan Park”.
He said that due to the hard work of Nazir Ahmad Kurd, administrator of Chiltan Park, Tariq Shahwani and forest guards, it has been seen possible.
Chiltan National Park is home to a wide variety of birds and animals, but Chiltan’s fame is due to the endangered ‘White Goat’ – the Chiltan Markhor, which is found only here in the world, added.
He said that before the 1980s, the number of Chiltan Markhors was around fifty to sixty in numbers, but due to the cooperation of local tribes and the staff of Chiltan Park, the number of Chiltan Markhors has increased to more than fifteen hundred.
Mr Nazir Ahmad Kurd, Administrator of the Chiltan National Park Hazarganji and Deputy Conservator of the Forest and Wildlife Department, said Persian Leopards had been reported in the area for decades, but recently a couple’s footprints were found and we started the search last October.
He said that after six months of continuous efforts by the guards of the park administration, the pictures of this rare animal were captured in early May.
“Seeing his fearlessness and contentment, we felt that this animal is safe here”. – Nazir Ahmed Kurd
He termed the presence of this rare and large predator (the flagship species of the park ecosystem) as an honour for Balochistan including the officials of Chiltan National Park, Forest and Wildlife Department, Balochistan.
“The presence of leopards will not only help keep the Chiltan Markhor active and fit, but will also help to balance the natural environment,” he added.
Mr Liaquat Shahwani – Spokesperson of Balochistan Government stating about Persian Leopard Spotted in Hazargangi Chiltan National Park Quetta Balochistan.
Spokesperson of the Balochistan Government, Mr Liaquat Shahwani, also shared the news on Twitter.
#کوئٹہ ہزار گنجی کوہ چلتن میں نایاب نسل کے تیندوے کی موجودگی، محکمہ جنگلات اور وائلڈ لائف نے تصویریں جاری کر دیئے۔
بلوچستان حکومت جنگلی حیات کے تحفظ و بقاء کیلئے اقدامات کررہی ہے pic.twitter.com/hwARgTmX8A
— Liaquat Shahwani (@LiaquatShahwani) May 20, 2021
According to IUCN Red List and other international animal protection organizations, this species of leopard is in serious danger of extinction. “It is our good fortune that we have them. If they are gone, it will not be possible to bring them back, so the government, as well as the people, need to protect them”. – Nazir Ahmed Kurd
“Here we need more resources and staff to protect them, we also ask people to play their part in protecting these leopards,” he said
He said that along with Chiltan, there are several other mountain ranges like Koh-i-Maran, Takto, Koh-i-Mardar, Zarghun and others. “If we protect it here, its population will spread to other areas.”
The Caucasian or Persian leopard is a leopard sub-species found in countries such as Iran, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Georgia. Little research has, however, been done on the regions inhabited by it.
The Persian leopard is one of the biggest of the eight recognized subspecies of the leopards. All the leopards have stocky bodies with comparatively short legs; their total body length, including the tail, can be up to 190cm and their weight up to 70kg.
According to research, Persian leopards are an endangered species and less than 1,000 animals are left in the wild. They have stocky bodies with comparatively short legs; their total body length (including tail) can be up to 190cm and their weight up to 70kg. Since 2016, it has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the population was estimated at 871 to 1,290 mature individuals, with a declining trend.
They have greyish, slightly reddish fur with large rosettes on the flanks and back, smaller ones on the shoulder and upper legs, and spots on the head and neck. It varies in colouration; in Iran, both pale and dark individuals occur.[*] Its average body length is 158 cm (62 in), with a 192 mm (7.6 in) long skull and a 94 cm (37 in) long tail.[*] It weighs up to 60 kg (130 lb).[*]
Biometric data collected from 25 female and male individuals in various provinces of Iran indicate an average body length of 259 cm (102 in). A young male from northern Iran weighed 64 kg (141 lb).[*]
They have black spots on the head, limbs and belly and spots arranged in rosettes across the back and flanks. Their spots give unique coat patterns which can be used to identify individuals. They are solitary and males and females only come together to mate. These leopards prefer to live in long and difficult valleys rather than deserts.
Body skin has a range of base colours from yellow to golden brown with paler fur under the chin and across the belly. These leopards have black spots on the head, limbs and belly and spots arranged in rosettes across the back and flanks. The officials said that these spots give unique coat patterns which can be used to identify individuals.
Read more about Persian Leopard here.