By Hormoz Asadi, 1997
In 1997, Hormoz Asadi located less than 100 Asiatic Cheetahs in Iran in the report for UNDP Cat Specialist Group.About 96% of the natural habitat of the country was altered. Another major cause of wildlife loss has been the commercial exploitation of certain wildlife species, e.g. gazelles, leopards, falcons, bustards. partridges. waterfowl and crocodiles. These wildlife species were over- harvested from the wild mainly for export, without any concern for conservation and replenishment measures, resulting in a drastic fall in their populations. Under such pressure. some species may already be extinct and some brought to the verge of extinction, among them the Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx venaticus. In 2020, just 23 years later, Asiatic cheetah numbers have decreased by at least 50 percent. In addition to direct killing and shooting of wildlife, the major cause of the rapid decline has been habitat disturbance.