عنوان مقاله [English]
Recent national assessments consider the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) to be a vulnerable species in Iran, yet no empirical data exist on its population status. During February 2010-May 2011 we carried out a baseline survey of the species status in Anguran Wildlife Refuge, northwestern Iran, using extensive camera-trapping, assessment of prey availability (wild sheep Ovis orientalis), and interviews with local people. A total of 1,944 camera trap-nights yielded no photograph of the lynx, though all the sympatric large and medium-sized carnivores were recorded. Adapting Hetherington and Gorman (2007)’s lynx-prey relationships, we found a much lower biomass density of the ungulates than has been published from the species range (i.e., 23.9 kg km-2), thus the predicted lynx density was negative. No recent reliable observation of the lynx was obtained during the questionnaires, and no stock breeder claimed any livestock depredation by the species. Overall, we found no evidence of a resident lynx population in our study site, though the reserve has been considered to be a lynx hotspot in Iran based on the unconfirmed observations. We recommend a monitoring scheme of continuously collecting and compiling field records of the Eurasian lynx in order to robustly assess the distribution and conservation status of this lesser-known felid in Iran.