Iranian environmental activists sign petition to save wildlife

TEHRAN, Jan. 20 (MNA) –Iran’s Department of Environment has petitioned to president Rouhani to save the innocent animals being killed by cruel humans.

Leading by environmental activist Jamshid Parchizadeh, a group of environmental advocates have waged a campaign to save Iran’s large cats. The petition has been signed by 1300 people, and reads as follows:

In the name of God

From: Campaign to Save Iran’s Large Carnivores

To: Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency, you know very well that not a long time ago, we had the Persian Lion and the Caspian Tiger in this land. Unfortunately, because of human being’s totalitarian approach to nature, the abovementioned species became extinct. According to the categories of the “International Union for Conservation of Nature”, the Asiatic Cheetah with a population of about forty to seventy individuals is “Critically Endangered”, the Persian Leopard with a population of lower than five hundred individuals is “Endangered”, and the Asiatic Black Bear, the Brown Bear, the Persian Wolf and the Caucasian Hyena are “Not Evaluated” due to the lack of necessary scientific technologies.

Nowadays so many large carnivores are being killed by cruel humans. One of these large carnivores is the Persian Leopard subspecies; and surely in the near future all abovementioned animals will have no fate except extinction. These days, nobody from Iran Department of Environment is going to do anything to save these innocent animals. That is why I, Jamshid Parchizadeh, holder of a Master’s degree in Zoology from University of Pune, India, along with one thousand and three hundred people have decided to launch a campaign to save these carnivores.

Now, you may tell yourself that “I, as the President, am more concerned with solving the humans’ problems than dealing with the animals.” But we also know that we are part of the same people that you think of solving whose problems; and indeed by solving these innocent animals’ problems, you will have solved some of ours. We have heard several times that “the oil is a national treasure, and if it runs out, there is no possibility of returning it to the cycles of nature”. However, these two questions arise as to why these animals also can not be seen as national treasures? And if they become extinct, can they return to nature again? Another point is that “national honor” is not limited to make colorful decorations and numerous world titles, but maintaining the national treasure also is considered one of the greatest national honors.

As such, I have prepared a comprehensive list of things that need to be done by Iran Department of Environment in order to both save and conserve Iran’s large carnivores. Doing all or at least two-third of the issues on the list is expected. The section “e” of number “9” has to be done under any circumstances:

1- Reduce the conflict between humans and carnivores by:

a) Stopping road construction and mining in the carnivores’ habitats.

b) Stopping the residential building where these animals inhabit.

c) Providing food in different seasons, especially in cold seasons when less food is available. This means providing healthy meat and not corrupt and rotten meat that can cause the death of carnivores.

2- Increase public knowledge such as that of the ordinary people, the rural folks and local shepherds about the value of these species by:

a) Setting up training classes in areas where these animals inhabit.

b) Making documentaries on the lives of these animals and broadcasting them on television.

c) Making short films about large carnivores’ categories in IUCN.

3- Declare all the areas where these animals inhabit as both “protected” and “forbidden-for-hunting” areas.

4- Estimate financial losses of rural folks and local shepherds to pay compensation to them in order for them not to kill these fierce animals.

5- Increase the deterrent penalties to reach the level of those for humans.

6- Increase the number of guards as well as granting them the right to shoot at hunters in case of their not responding to the guards’ warnings.

7- Train guards to use anesthetic weapons and giving these weapons to the guards in order to use at special moments of necessity when confronted with wild animals (Not using lethal weapons to save their lives; like the guard who was forced to kill an innocent leopard to save his own life).

8- Increase the guards’ salary in order to prevent bribery.

9- Allocate budget for the implementation of the necessary techniques including:

a) Using “Trail cameras” to determine the carnivores’ habitat and approximate number.

b) Using “Radio-telemetry” or “Global Positioning System” to determine the carnivores’ home range size.

c) Using “Genetic fingerprinting” in advanced laboratories to estimate their exact number.

d) Getting accurate aerial pictures from carnivores’ habitats to draw their distribution by using “Geographic Information Systems”.

e) Catching live animals and providing an environment for their mating to maintain their generationin healthy and safe places under the control of an experienced veterinarian.

Jamshid Parchizadeh

By Mehr News Agency

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