Poachers’ Threat

Poachers’ ThreatPoachers’ Threat

Every year 30,000 bullets are fired at nearly 111,000 herbivorous species in the country. The statistics, as the deputy of development, and management of the Department of Environment (DoE), Mohammad Mojabi puts it, “is in no harmony” with the number of wild life registered in Iran.

Not all the bullets are fired at the wild life but some target the 2700 rangers across the country; 120 rangers have lost their lives safeguarding the environment and other 500 have suffered amputations, according to last year’s statistics presented by the deputy of Public Participation at DoE, Mohammad Darvish.

Mojabi says the DoE has so far paid blood money for 40 rangers who, usually in clashes with illegal hunters, have shot, wounded, or killed a person, and been sentenced to pay the Diyya (blood money) according to Islamic law.

There are still open legal cases like that of the two rangers from Dena protected region. In spite of all attempts by the public and officials to get clemency from the family of the deceased, they are still at risk of being sent to the gallows.

Environment rangers are included in the country’s official armed forces but are not permitted to use their arms as per law. Thus the authorities of DoE are making an effort to have the related legislations revised.

On the legal cases of the rangers, Mojabi explains: “In a meeting with the heads of the legislature and judiciary, the issue was discussed that rangers need to have the authority to act upon  any violation of rules and should not be treated as  ordinary individuals in legal cases.”

He further added that many rangers have become involved in legal cases due to the inefficiency of the regulations and inability to pay the blood money. However, environmental experts believe that the plan for preserving and safeguarding the environment and wildlife should be formulated in a manner that no bullet is ever fired at either rangers or hunters.

Mojabi speaks of a MOU signed between DoE and the ministry of defense based on which the excessive manufacturing of hunting rifles needs to stop.