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Range DescriptionThe Persian Fallow Deer formerly occurred in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and eastern Turkey (Hemami and Rabiei 2002). It was depicted in relief artwork dated prior to the 9th century BC and in ancient times its range probably included North Africa from Tunisian border to the Red Sea. By 1875 it was restricted to southwestern and western Iran, having disappeared from the rest of its range. It was considered extinct, but a small population was rediscovered in southwestern Iran in 1956. The only surviving indigenous wild populations are in Dez Wildlife Refuge and Karkeh Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Iran (though the population in Karkeh has also been restocked with animals from the Dasht-e-Naz Wildlife Refuge).
There are reintroduced populations in Iran as follows: Dasht-e-Naz Wildlife Refuge in northern Iran; Semeskandeh Wildlife Refuge in northern Iran; Ashk and Kaboudan Islands in Lake Uromiyeh (Uromiyeh National Park); and the Miankotal enclosure in Arjan and Parishan Protected Area. All these reintroduced populations are either in enclosures or on islands. Some of the animals in Semeskandeh Wildlife Refuge are hybrids with Dama dama, although the hybrids and pure-bred animals are maintained in separate populations. Introductions to Shiri, Lavan, Kish Islands in the Persian Gulf were probably not successful.