Iran to launch nation-wide cheetah protection program
Tehran, Iran, November 27
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
Iran is going to launch a nation-wide program for the protection of the Iranian (aka Asiatic) cheetah beginning next Iranian-calendar year (to start March 21), Director of Protection and Hunting Management at Iran's Department of Environment Ali Teymouri said.
Some 166 cheetahs were killed in the past eight years, Teymouri asserted, adding that the protection program has been under preparation for two years, IRNA news agency reported November 27.
Iranian cheetah is a critically endangered cheetah subspecies surviving today only in Iran. It used to occur in India as well, where it is locally extinct.
The program was compiled in cooperation with environment departments of 31 provinces, eight specialist environment protection centers, over 60 scientific centers and universities, and 220 NGOs, according to the official.
Most cheetahs killed in Iran come from the provinces of Fars, Golestan, Kerman, Zanjan, Ilam, Razavi Khorasan, and North Khorasan and are mostly killed either in road accidents, by poachers, or by farmers.
Teymouri added that Iranian cheetahs are facing other dangers, such as lack of enough prey and shrinking habitants.
He said plans are being made to help the survival of the Iranian cheetah through insurance, which takes two forms. One is to insure cheetahs, and the other is to insure properties that could be harmed by cheetahs, such as herds.
He further noted that the program is likely to help the protection of other wild animals such as the black bear since cheetahs are scattered in a lot of areas that are habitat to other animals as well.
The Asian black bear is another endangered species in Iran. Nine Asian black bears have been killed in Iran over the past three years, despite the species being listed as endangered, a November 26 report said.