Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan held an online meeting of experts from the Department of Nature Conservation, scientific leaders of state nature reserves, and global scientists to discuss conservation of the Persian leopard in our country.
Scientists noted that the observations recorded increase in the population of the leopard in the Kopetdag, Balkhan, and Badkhyz highlandsother Turkmen habitats. The efforts of the specialists of the Nature Conservation Fund of Turkmenistan have significantly contributed to the growth of the population of this rare animal. Naturalists are conducting regular monitoring of the Persian leopard, using innovative methods, installing camera traps, determining paths of movement and favorite places to visit the red-listed animal.
The habitat was surveyed with the participation of zoologists from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the expert T. Rosen, who has experience in the conservation of the snow leopard in Central Asia. The activities confirmed Effectiveness of protection measures for the population of the Persian leopard in Turkmenistan.
The briefing focused on areas of interaction between Turkmen naturalists and the Center for the Preservation of Large Landscapes (USA) in the format of a Memorandum to be signed in 2021.
The Persian leopard owes such popularity and interest among researchers to its extremely low numbers. In the early 1990s, the Turkmen population of the Persian leopard critically declined as a result of the reduction in the predator's food supply - argali, bezoar goats, gazelles, wild boars. By the current moment the situation has improved. Observations also showed that Red-listed raptors have become more flexible in their response to anthropogenic factors. The foraging sample of animals has changed and expanded. In the leopard's habitat photographic traps regularly recorded the objects of its hunting - ungulates.
The results of the observations will be used in the development of the Turkmen and Central Asian strategic plans for the conservation of this red-listed species.