People, Environment

Ardestan Wildlife Thriving

Ardestan Wildlife Thriving  Ardestan Wildlife Thriving

According to the latest census, the population of several animal species in protected areas and no-hunting zones in Ardestan County, Isfahan Province, have seen a 100% increase compared to the previous year.

“The numbers of wild goat and ovis (wild sheep), both among rare species in Iran, have doubled,” said Hussein Shavakhi, the head of the Department of Environment office in Ardestan, according to IRNA.

Nearly 92,000 hectares of Ardestan is protected by the DOE, which is mostly home to mammals and birds. “The High Environment Council is considering designating Kharoo, a no-hunting zone, a protected site,” he added.

Covering 100,000 hectares, Kharoo is one of the main habitats of the critically endangered Asiatic Cheetah.

Overgrazing of livestock, lack of trained rangers and prevalence of poachers are threatening the survival of local wildlife.

Even though the department is severely understaffed, the government has proposed a meager $46 million budget for the DOE in the next fiscal year (starts March 20), $2 million less compared to the department’s budget for the outgoing year.