Conservation of Pallas’s cat in northeastern Iran

(PICA Small Grant Programme)

© M.S. Farhadinia

Mohammad Sadeq Farhadinia & Pouyan Behnoud


Future4Leopards Foundation


2021 – 2022


Two previous status assessments of Pallas’s cat supported that killing by herders and their guard dogs could be a significant cause of mortality for Pallas’s cats in Iran (Farhadinia & Moqanaki 2016, Moqanaki et al., 2019). Accordingly, the current project’s focus is to tackle this threat within two sites in northeastern Iran with following objectives.


The south-west part of the Pallas’s cat distribution range is the transcontinental Asian region extending from Pakistan in the east to Armenia in the west, through Iran. The Pallas’s cat has been rarely studied in this region, and the current knowledge of the species in this region is limited. Iran is the westernmost and southernmost part of the Pallas’s cats’ range where killing by herders and their guard dogs could be a significant cause of mortality for Pallas’s cats, particularly in north-east of the country. Accordingly, the current project will pursue three objectives:

  • 1) understanding patterns of occurrence and mortality;
  • 2) engaging local herders to decrease herder-caused mortality;
  • 3) developing science and conservation capacity in field ecology and conservation in conservation practitioners.

We will use a combination of semi-structured questionnaire surveys and occupancy modelling, outreach programs and capacity developing workshops to address two objectives outlined in the Pallas’s cat Conservation Strategy, reducing human-caused mortality and developing science and conservation capacity. Following the completion of this project, we expect that at least 600 local herders are engaged, 20 conservation practitioners are trained and a monitoring baseline is developed for further monitoring.


M.S. Farhadinia, Pouyan Behnoud, Kave Hobeali, Peyman Moghadas


PICA, Iran’s Department of Environment


PICA Small Grant Programme