ZooKeys 31: 229-252, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.31.170
Carnivores of Syria
Marco Masseti
Abstract The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic) in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains). The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.