Efforts to prevent the Asiatic cheetah from going extinct appear to be paying off, with camera traps showing an increase in the number of cats.

Efforts to prevent the Asiatic cheetah from going extinct appear to be paying off, with camera traps showing an increase in the number of cats.

© Shobeir Ansari/Alamy

Feature: Iran's fragile ecosystems under pressure

Iran has many hot spots where the needs of a burgeoning population are taking a toll on the fragile ecosystems of this vast, water-poor country. This story touches on four hot issues: a drought stretching into its fifth year that is having devastating consequences, especially in central Iran; a controversial plan to transform Iran's only island in the Caspian Sea into a tourism hub; alarming declines of Iran's forests due to wildfires, conversion to cropland, logging, and urbanization; and efforts to save the Asiatic cheetah from extinction. Iranian scientists and nongovernmental organizations are speaking out about the crises—and, in some cases, making headway toward solving them.

To read the full story, see the 4 September issue of Science.