Ali Teimouri told reporters on Tuesday that from a total of 1140 animal species, 76 species were listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; “it is necessary to devise specific measures to improve the protection quality of these endangered species so that animals avoid the fate of species such as Iranian lion and Caspian leopard, which now have long been extinct from the wild,” he added.
“During past years, Department of Environment has been drafting the job description and services to manage 30 animal species; in the solar year ending March 21 2015, drafting of the National Action Plan to protect endangered species has been special priority for the Department, as an effective step to improve protection quality of these species,” Teimouri told reporters.
“During the current year and the Sixth Development Plan, drafting and preparing of the Action Plan of 30 species of important animals, along with implementing the Action Plan for 15 other animal species have been the priority for Biodiversity and Wildlife Office of the Department,” Teimouri emphasized, “the Action Plan for protecting Asiatic cheetah, A. j. venaticus, is under process of drafting; the Department has organized training workshops in close collaboration with Asiatic Cheetah Research Institute, an NGO, in the provincial offices of all 31 provinces for wildlife experts and the local influential individuals and magistrates,” he said, “the workshops have a protective nature; due to the sheer vastness of the country and diversity and wide distribution of the Asiatic cheetah population, and other contributing factors, the content of the workshops have determined and prepared according to local necessities and conditions, with priorities to be set still by local authorities in prevention of damage on cheetah population,” Teimouri detailed.
Teimouri also pointed to some statistics about the cheetah mortalities and related causes; “during past decade, 50 per cent of cheetah mortality has been eating poisoned pray; about 13 per cent was motorway accidents; 4 per cent was diseases, 2 per cent was unknown factors, and the remaining was natural death as the result of interspecies rivalries, and natural disasters as flooding,” he noted.
About the six reported cases of cheetah deaths in early April, Teimouri said that the causes of death had been evenly distributed to the mentioned factors; “we now lack the comprehensive action plan to protect the animal to reduce the number of deaths,” he added.
On measures taken to reduce the cases of human-led damages on cheetahs, he said that the amount of compensation in cash had been set by the Department in cases of the animal’s attack on the livestock, which would be safely paid if the case was approved by provincial office; “we are working on a mechanism which would facilitate payments of compensations for cheetah attack on livestock through National Environment Fund; a list of fines to be elicited for damages on wildlife had been approved by the Department of Environment raised the cash fine almost 16-fold, roughly from $1500 to $24,000, which has gone effective since then,” Teimouri concluded.