Tehran Times- Increasing the fine for killing leopards by 16 times to 800 million rials (nearly $20,000) and insuring the animals against any possible threat has resulted in fewer casualties in Iran, IRNA news agency reported.
From 2005 to 2014 some 156 leopards were killed in Iran, 20 leopards a year on average, which decreased to 14 over the last Iranian calendar year (March 21, 2015 to March 19, 2016), according to the Department of Environment.
Owing to the newly drawn up leopard insurance policy which covers the losses both animals and human beings sustain due to the leopards’ attack the number of casualties decreased to 5 in the current Iranian calendar year.
So far the insurance company has paid some 2.4 billion rials (nearly $60,000) to compensate for the loss of four leopards killed in the current year in addition to some 2.5 billion rials (nearly $62,500) to make up for the losses caused by the leopard to the livestock.
Poisoned baits, loss of habitats, and shepherds who might unintentionally injure or kill leopards to protect their livestock are of the threats against these species and in 70 percent of the cases leopards’ deaths are down to human intervention. According to the figures currently there are less than 500 leopards nationwide.
The Department of Environment, the National Environment Fund, and the Ma Insurance Co. first signed a memorandum of understanding on March 16, 2016, aiming to coordinate measures to save the endangered Persian Leopard. The insurance aims at compensating for the losses inflicted upon human beings, livestock, and the leopards themselves.