Roads threaten Asiatic cheetahs in Iran


Wildlife–vehicle collisions are an important cause of mortality for many animal species. They also prove extremely detrimental to the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) 1, 2. One to two Asiatic cheetahs are killed by vehicles on Iran’s roads annually 3, 4. As such, the Asiatic cheetah could be the next charismatic felid subspecies to go extinct in the near future [5]. We identified one statistically-significant cluster of cheetah–vehicle collisions on the Shahroud-Sabzevar Highway (SSH), in Semnan Province. Because of the extremely small population of cheetahs and the corresponding difficulty of finding statistically-significant clusters, we propose that every single cheetah–vehicle collision should be considered important. We further recommend that wildlife underpasses and associated fencing be constructed in areas of previous cheetah–vehicle collisions.

Current Biology