People, Environment

Wildlife Insurance for Persian Leopard

Wildlife Insurance for Persian LeopardWildlife Insurance for Persian Leopard

In the latest move to help protect the endangered Persian leopard, the Department of Environment plans to insure the species to deter shepherds from killing the animal to protect their livestock.

In June, the department raised the fine for poaching Persian leopards to 800 million rials ($24,000), up from 50 million rials ($1,500), ISNA reported.

Ali Teymouri, director of Hunting and Fishing Office at DOE, said the department has held talks with several insurance companies.

“Some of them did not meet our expectations, while others showed keen interest and have had discussions with the Asian Leopard Specialist Society to find ways of effectively devising and implementing an insurance plan that covers incidents involving leopards,” he said.

The official said a study spanning four years found that 71% of all Persian leopard fatalities were attributed to illegal hunting or poisoning.

“Once the insurance plan goes into effect, people who suffer losses caused by leopards will be appropriately compensated,” he said.

Teymouri noted that this will hopefully discourage people from taking matters into their own hands.  

Extensive studies were conducted by DOE in 2013 to devise a comprehensive plan for protecting the endangered animal. The study is expected to conclude by the end of summer.

Wildlife insurance is in line with a recent UN resolution that calls on governments to broaden the resources and legal tools they commit to protecting wildlife and confronting wildlife crime.