Miandasht Wildlife Refuge in North Khorasan Province is one of the key cheetah reserves in Iran. The reserve hosts a viable cheetah population with at least two different cheetah families of a mother and three cubs and a mother and one cub, documented by the Iranian Cheetah Society’s camera traps.
Water sources in Miandasht is limited, and during the hot summers local wardens have to frequently maintain multiple artificial water sources across this arid reserve. In total, 10 artificial water sources provide the invaluable water for both Miandasht’s wildlife and ranger stations within this reserve. During the host season which usually last for about 6 months in late spring to early autumn, each artificial water supply must be manually filled 12-18 times. As the local wildlife authority has limited resources and the local wardens need to focus on anti-poaching patrols, maintaining the artificial water resources becomes very problematic during the hot season.
In collaboration with the local wildlife authority at Jajarm, the Iranian Cheetah Society launched a campaign in spring 2015 to fundraise recruitment of local people to be responsible for maintaining the Miandasht’s water sources. Within 10 days, we could successfully raise the necessary budget and delivered it to the local wildlife authority. As a result, the water sources during the previous hot season were fully functional and no water shortage appeared.