News ID: 3275
Publish Date: 24 December 2013 - 12:24
» Natural
Iran’s wildlife comprises several animal species, including bears, gazelles, wild pigs, wolves, jackals, panthers, Eurasian lynx and hawksbill turtles.
Zistboom: Iran’s wildlife comprises several animal species, including bears, gazelles, wild pigs, wolves, jackals, panthers, Eurasian lynx and hawksbill turtles. 
Hawksbill turtles are one of the rare and indigenous members of Iranian wildlife, Wikipedia reported. 
Other domestic animals include sheep, goats, horses, water buffalo, donkeys and camels. Pheasant, partridge, stork, eagle and falcon are also native to Iran. 
Some of Iran’s most important rare wildlife species are listed below: 

Hawksbill turtle 

The hawksbill sea turtle is a sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. Its appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. 
It has a generally flat body, a protective carapace and flipper-like arms adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricate is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. 
Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature. While this turtle lives part of its life in the open ocean, it spends more time in shallow lagoons and coral reefs. 
Human fishing practices are threatening E. imbricata populations with extinction. Hawksbills are the primary source of tortoise shell material used for decorative purposes. 
The World Conservation Union classifies the hawksbill as critically endangered. 
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them. 
Iran’s Shidvar Island is one of the best places for conserving this rare specie. 
Shidvar Island, with an area of 80 hectares, is located in Hormuzgan province in the Persian Gulf. It has a coastline of 5.5 km, of which 2 km are sandy beaches suitable for marine turtle nesting. 
This island has been reported as one of the most important nesting sites for hawksbill turtles in Iran. 
For this reason, as well as its importance as a nesting site of bird species (lesser crested tern Sterba bengalensis, crested tern Sterna bergii, bridled tern Sterna anaethetus), it has been nominated as a protected area, including Ramsar Convetion status. 
Successful conservation on this island can play a positive role in safeguarding regional hawksbill population. 
It is hoped that more extensive studies will be conducted in future to allow a more detailed population assessment and insights into the biology of the hawksbill turtle in this region. 

Caspian horse 

The Caspian horse is a breed native to northern Iran. Although its original height probably ranged near 91 cm, it is termed a horse rather than a pony because, size apart, it has much in common with horses. 
It is believed to be one of the oldest horse or pony breeds in the world, which descended from small Mesopotamian equines that, in competition with larger animals, had faded from attention by 7th century CE. 
They came to public notice again when Louise Firouz, an American-born breeder of Iranian horses living in Iran, rediscovered it in 1965. 
In 2011, the remains of a horse dating back to 3400 BCE, were found at Gohar Tappeh, giving rise to claims that the Caspian horse is the oldest known surviving breed of domestic horse. It is also called Mazandaran Horse, after the province where it was found. 

Persian cheetah 

The Asiatic cheetah is now known as Iranian cheetah, as the world’s last few are known to survive mostly in Iran. 
The Asiatic cheetah is a critically endangered subspecies of the cheetah found today only in Iran, with some occasional sightings in Balochestan, Pakistan. 
It lives mainly in Iran’s vast central desert in fragmented habitats. Although once common, the animal was driven to extinction in other parts of southwest Asia from Arabia to India and Afghanistan. 
As of 2013, only 20 cheetahs were identified in Iran, but some areas remain to be surveyed; the total population may be 50 to 100. 
The Asiatic cheetah was separated from its African relative between 32,000 and 67,000 years. Along with the Eurasian lynx and the Persian leopard, it is one of the three remaining species of large cats in Iran today.

Source: Iran Daily

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