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The status of the Endangered Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, Iran

Arash Ghoddousia1 p1 c1, Amirhossein Kh. Hamidia1, Taher Ghadiriana1, Delaram Ashayeria1 and Igor Khorozyana2

a1 Plan for the Land Society, Tehran, Iran.

a2 Zoological Institute, St Petersburg, Russia, and WWF Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia

Abstract

We describe the use of camera-trapping with capture-recapture, occupancy and visitation rate modelling to study the size, demographic structure and distribution of the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, southern Iran. A total sampling effort of 1,012 trap-nights yielded photo-captures of four adults, two subadult individuals and a cub over 21 sampling occasions. The leopard population size estimated by the M(h) model and jackknife estimator was 6.00 ± SE 0.24 individuals. This gives a density of 1.87 ± SE 0.07 leopards per 100 km2. Detection probability was constant and low and, as a result, estimated occupancy rate was significantly higher than that predicted from photographic capture sites alone. Occupancy was 56% of the protected area and visitation rates were 0.01–0.05 visits per day. The most imminent threats to leopards in Bamu are poaching and habitat fragmentation.

(Received January 06 2009)

(Reviewed February 04 2009)

(Accepted March 12 2009)

Correspondence:

c1 Plan for the Land Society, Tehran, Iran. E-mail ghoddousi@plan4land.org

p1 Current address: 106 John Smith Hall, Silwood Park, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7PY, UK

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