Abbas-Ali Damangir, the head of the provincial DOE office, said the department is conducting preliminary studies on safety measures in carrying and releasing the animals, upon the completion of which, the onagers will be taken into Kavir National Park.
The official noted that 12 onagers will be collected from Kerman province’s habitats, and three others will be brought from Yazd province.
“Some five other Persian onagers are also likely to be brought to the park from the southern Fars province,” he added.
The Persian onager, also called Persian zebra, is an Iranian endemic species, which is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, as it is close to extinction. There are no more than 600 individuals left plus a few in the American Conservation Biology Institute.
Persian onagers mainly inhabit mountain steppes, semi-desert or desert plains. Their largest population is found in Touran National Park, also located in the vast Semnan province.
Kavir National Park is a protected ecological zone in northern Iran. It has an area of 4,000 square kilometers. The park is located 120 kilometers south of Tehran and sits on the western end of one of Iran's two major deserts, Dasht-e-Kavir.