Mahabad, April 11, IRNA - A Persian panther has been spotted at Ashk Island of Urmia Lake, West Azarbaijan Province.
Ashk Island lies on the south of the Island of Kaboodan and 40 km from the port of Golman Khaneh. This island has a 'sweet water' spring and provides a natural habitat for resident and immigrant birds. One of the rarest species of wildlife known as the 'Iranian follow deer' is found here.
The Island covers and area of 2,115 hectares and its vegetation is similar to that of the Island of Kaboodan.
The head of the wildlife section of Department of Environment of West Azarbaijan province Omid Yousfi told IRNA on Saturday that although the Persian panther has a wide habitat distribution, its population has declined sharply, especially in recent years.
"This panther had been seen for the first time on the same island last September and since then, it was recorded by cameras installed on the islands to monitor wildlife at Lake Urmia National Park."
Persian panther is among the most endangered species in the world. Big cats have been listed as "endangered" in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Iran is one of their main habitats.