People, Environment

DOE Seeks Severe Punishment for Leopard Poacher

DOE Seeks Severe Punishment for Leopard Poacher
DOE Seeks Severe Punishment for Leopard Poacher

The Department of Environment is seeking the maximum punishment for a poacher charged with killing a Persian leopard cub in Mazandaran Province.

Speaking to ISNA, Ali Teymouri, director of the DOE’s Hunting and Fishing Office, said the hunter will most likely be sentenced to three years in jail and fined 800 million rials ($22,800).

“We request the maximum punishment for the perpetrator,” he was quoted as saying.

“The protected animal is a rare species and was killed in Kiasar National Park.”

Teymouri noted that Ma Insurance Company has proposed giving 600 million rials ($17,000) to DOE to help accelerate the implementation of effective conservation measures in the area.

Over the past eight years, more than 166 leopards have perished across the country. Road accidents, hunting and poisoning by shepherds trying to protect their livestock are the main causes of death.

A study spanning four years found that 71% of all Persian leopard fatalities were attributed to illegal hunting or poisoning. Reduced prey population and shrinkage of the natural habitat are other factors threatening the graceful, but imperiled, big cats.

At least 74 species of Iranian wildlife are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List for threatened species, a sign of serious threats against the country’s biodiversity.

Kiasar National Park is home to a variety of species like roe deer, leopard, brown bear, wild boar, jackal, fox and jungle cat.

Unspoiled natural landscapes and wildlife diversity have turned the area into a tourism attraction.