Iran may be able to save endangered Asiatic cheetah after all

Iran may be able to save endangered Asiatic cheetah after all
12:47 7 Dekabr 2015
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Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7

By Umid Niayesh- Trend:

At least 18 new cubs of Asiatic cheetah have been located in Iran recently, Iranian Vice President and head of Environmental Protection Organization Massoumeh Ebtekar said.

Fortunately, camera traps installed around the cheetahs’ habitat in Iran have registered 18 newly born cubs, indicating improvement in situation of the endangered species which have been extinct in all Asian countries excluding Iran, Ebtekar said, Iran’s ILNA news agency reported Dec. 6.

She made the remarks while visiting Pardisan Park, a preserved cheetah area, northwest of Tehran city, to mark the International Cheetah Day.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Iran Gary Lewis also attended the ceremony.

The rising number of cheetahs is the outcome of a collective efforts by the environmental protection organization, The UN and NGOs as well as local people, Ebtekar said.

The Cheetah habitats share over 30 percent of the Iranian environmental protection organization’s protected areas, she added.

Lewis, for his part, said that the UN spares no efforts to help Iran to save the endangered species. He added that the United Nations has allocated about $2 million to protect the Asiatic cheetah within the past 10 years and plans to increase the budget in the future.

He referred to 12 years of cooperation between the UN and the Iranian environment protection organization, saying the Asiatic cheetah is being saved from extinction thanks to the joint efforts.

Earlier Iranian Environmental Protection Organization announced that population of the Asiatic cheetah is approximately 70 to 120.

The UN provides help to Iran on the issue within the framework of a project dubbed the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP).

The CACP is a long standing initiative between Iran's environment protection organization , UNDP(United Nations Development Program) and a number of committed international partners, namely the Wildlife Conservation Society, Panthera, Cheetah Conservation Fund and the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN)'s Cat Specialist Group. Phase I of the project was co-funded by the Global environment Facility and was implemented from 2001 to 2008.

The project is a joint partnership between Iran's Environmental Protection Organization and UNDP. It aims to continue research, train game guards and expand and upgrade protected areas.

The extended phase II (November 2013 - December 2016) will identify feasible livelihood options that could achieve a higher level of integration of local communities as active and long-term partners in protected area (PA) management.

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