World Bulletin/News Desk
Panthera pardus, a leopard subspecies native to Turkey, known to be living but unable to be spotted in Turkey, has been photographed for the first time by the Wildlife Ecology and Management Department of Karadeniz Technical University (KTU) in Turkey's northern Trabzon province.
Prof. Sagdan Baskaya, head of the department, said they achieved to photograph the "leopard."
Reminding that they persistently voiced for 20 years that Turkey was the habitat of the leopard, Baskaya said "The first pictures were taken with phototraps. There are a total of 25 pictures of the leopard, and we continue to photograph them."
Baskaya, stating that they had been carrying out field surveys for 3 months in order to determine the draft boundaries for declaring a protected area where the photos of the panther were taken, said, "I cannot disclose where the leopard was photographed due to security concerns for the time being."
The Anatolian leopard was first described on the basis of a single specimen in the extreme west of Asia Minor, near Izmir in Turkey.
During surveys carried out between 1993 and 2002, zoologists found evidence of leopards in the upper forest and alpine zones of the eastern Pontic Mountains, where human population is low.
Extensive trophy hunting is thought to be the prime factor for the decline and possible extinction of the Anatolian leopard.
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