Innovative measures

SGP Project No.:IRA/SGP/OP5/Y3/STAR/BD/13/07(183)

The Persian leopard has a wide range in Iran and a great variability is existed in various parts on its range which include both natural and human factors. Therefore, the procedure we develop during this project (following by the previous project IRA/SGP/OP5/Y2/STAR/BD/12/02(168)), is an innovative measure applicable to the actual leopard status in Iran. Yet, several innovative measures produced during this project in which are listed as follows:

(a) The Persian leopard systematic monitoring scheme:

Reliable monitoring data to address the changes in status of the target species (including various factors such as population and distribution) as well as the habitats and prey species, is a vital measure in management efforts. Recording and storing the leopard data in Iran have been done since 2002 by the author which provide a great view on leopard status changes as a management tool. Yet, to establish a systematic and participatory procedure to increase the efficacy, here we established a separate operational group. Members of this group are among individuals, non-governmental and governmental organizations with direct access to the habitat and leopard information in their own area. We draw the guidelines to collect, record and store the data systematically and relative courses were conducted to train the members about the techniques, objectives and procedures.

As an additional step, the monitoring procedures have been based here was included in the Persian Leopard National Action Plan to sustain the project outcomes. Also, at the same time,  Asian Leopard Specialist Society together with Boushehr Provincial DoE Office, developed and conducted a separate pilot project to establish the first Persian leopard monitoring reference area using the techniques have been set in this project while the area was then endorsed as the first monitoring reference area in Iran. Yet, the term “reference areas” refer to another innovative measures have been developed and ruled in the Persian Leopard National Action Plan for further monitoring of the leopard status and population across the country.

(B)  Media have been very active in in the past years for tracking of the leopard conservation status across the country. However, while the media has a wide range of influence on leopard status, aspects of the relation between “media” and “conservation” remained undiscussed so far. As a very common issue, the individuals with knowledge about media are not familiar with conservation issues and those with knowledge on conservation are not familiar with media. In these courses, we joined both groups while discussing the news and media rules and regulations and previous lessons learned from influence of media on conservation issues.

(C)  We have write up 3 technical books for further reference of the members as guideline.

(D) Collaborating with foreign experts in the Persian leopard range in terms of monitoring techniques and to share the lessons learned and knowledge through a field training course, was one of the activities in this project. More

(E)  We introduced the environmental leadership concept as a new topic to influence the policies and strategies for the leopard conservation in Iran.