UN and Iran Working Together to Help Save Asiatic Cheetah
There was a time when the Asiatic cheetah used to roam freely in Middle East and Asia. But now, just 50 of them are left and they too are confined to northeast regions of Iran.
This is the reason that the U.N. Development Program has started working with Iran's Department of Environment to save the Asiatic cheetah. They are trying to raise awareness among citizens about the need to save the species.
Through their measures, officials want citizens to know the plight of the cheetahs, so, that they can do their part in protecting the endangered species. The initiative has been named as Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP).
There are times when the cheetahs come in contact with Iran's farmers, who come to graze their sheep on habitats shared with the cheetahs. Now, members of CACP are ensuring that grazing as well as environmental protection laws are properly implied.
The officials are also training local villages as how to deal with encroaching cheetahs as revenge should not be the first option to deal with them. UNDP has paid to provide Iranian park rangers with night vision goggles, so they can keep a track on the cheetah population. There are many cheetahs that have been tagged with GPS collars.
Public support also matters, therefore, UNDP and CACP have come up with many public service announcements. "Our goal with the production of these PSAs is to capture the hearts of the people and make them realize that they too have a responsibility in the conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah", affirmed Dr. Ahmad-Ali Keykhah, Iran's Deputy of Natural Resources and Biodiversity.
Since the middle of the 20th century, the cheetahs are missing from India and many other neighbors of Iran. Poaching and shortage of food are main reasons behind the decline in their population.
Gary Lewis of the U.N. Development Program said the Asiatic Cheetahs found in Iran are quite unique. Therefore, it is essential to conserve them.
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