Iran is considered to be an arid country with low annual rainfall for majority of its eastern half where the critically endangered Asiatic cheetahs roam. Over past decades, building artificial and improving natural waterholes for desert species has been a management action to moderate this limiting factor.
There are two types of water resources within Iranian desert reserves, natural springs and artificial waterholes which are regularly filled with tanker by the rangers in hot summer. Camels can drink huge amount of water just at once and then they play and destroy basic infrastructure of waterholes, resulting in water flow on the ground.
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.
After the public invitation done by the Iranian Cheetah Society for collecting charity money for means to improve the Miandasht’s protected area’s water supply, fortunately thanks to the financial help given by the kind citizens, a part of this area’s water supply has been repaired. Along with pure gratitude for these people, a report of the process is sent to registered members as an attached file.
Thanks to generosity of the Iranian private donors, IRR 56,400,000 was raised during the second year of this campaign. This donation was solely used to provide basic equipment for the local assistant in Miandasht, as well as to pay his salary for 8 months in 2016. The project team is now delighted to announce that the project’s second year report is now available online (in Farsi) and can be download here.