Iran, US Team to Save Cheetah

American scientists won't be allowed into Iran to help endangered Asiatic species
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2007 8:29 PM CDT
The endangered Asiatic Cheetah.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – In an unlikely collaboration, the US and Iran will undertake efforts this month to save the endangered Asiatic cheetah, whose numbers could be as low as 60, Der Spiegel reports. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society will send a team to the Kavir Desert in central Iran for a cheetah-tracking project—but none of the WCS scientists can be Americans.

The point of the project—the next stage of which is to begin later this month—is to fit the cheetahs with tracking devices so scientists will know what areas need to be preserved to ensure their survival. The cheetahs were trained by ancient kings to hunt gazelle, but, since the 1979 revolution, poaching and habitat degradation has thinned their numbers.