Iran's Department of Environment says the decline in the variety of wildlife species in Iran is cause for serious concern and the number of wildlife species in Khorasan Razavi has declined according to department officials Ali Keykha, from 3,600 to 600.

ISNA reports that Golestan Province forests have also seen a similar decline.

Keykha added that two Iranian cheetahs (Asiatic Cheetah) were killed in recent weeks due to road accidents, stressing that in view of the fact that only 100 cheetahs remain all across the country, this is a dramatic loss. Keykha called on drivers to take greater care on the roads and pay attention tot he over 30 road signs in the region that draw attention to the wildlife in the area and the need to protect them.

The department reports that road accidents cause 60 to 70 percent of feline deaths, especially for cheetahs and panthers, which are both on endangered species lists.

Last year, the Department of Environment warned that 74 wildlife species in the country are on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and are on the verge of extinction.