In order to increase local people’s awareness about Persian leopard, villages within range of Alamout mountains hosted community outreach programs to save Persian leopard in the area. Jointly organized by Qazvin Department of Environment and Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS), half-day festivals were held in three main communities where recent increase in human-leopard conflicts has been a major challenge. Therefore, compensation programs are pursued in case of approved livestock depredation to prevent the species poaching. The community program aimed to introduce the compensation topic to the people, to share the camera trapping project Qazvin DoE is running and to enhance local people’s knowledge on the species.

ICS conservation educators implemented “Persian Leopard Theater” talking about main challenges the species has with communities, regarding lack of prey and livestock depredation. In the meantime, the people received short footage of a recent educational film the ICS has produced about the species. Qavin DoE’s experts also described their findings during past four years of camera trapping in the area and how they can ask the DoE to pay for their animal, if they lose to the leopard.

Laid within Elburz Mountain south of Caspian Sea, Alamut is a main leopard area, close to Iranian Caucasus eco-region where the species is experiencing a drastic decline both in number and area. In recent years, several leopards have been poached in that area, mainly due to conflict with local people. After launching of the compensation program, it is hoped that more tolerance toward the leopard can be achieved.

Alamout1.jpgAlamout2.jpgCommunity program inside village’s mosque

 

Alamout3.jpgThe people received feedback from research and camera trapping programs by Qazvin DoE

 

 

Alamout4.jpgLeopard theater welcomed by people

 

Alamout6.jpgKids learn more about the cats in Iran

 

 

Alamout7.jpgDoE manager describes how the people can start a compensation process

 

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Networking with hunters and nature lovers to help game wardens for better protection