Target: Masoumeh Ebtekar, head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization
Goal: Protect the Asiatic Cheetah from becoming extinct in Iran
The Asiatic Cheetah is one of the last two remaining critically endangered large cats in Iran. Populations of this species could previously be found in areas of the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Kazakhstan. Today, however, there are fewer than 100 remaining in the world and they all occupy the central plateau of Iran.
Historically, humans have played a large role in the cheetah’s demise. They are increasingly losing their natural habitats due to human development, overhunting, habitat degradation, and poaching. Shepherds, for example, often use the cheetah’s natural habitat as grazing land for their livestock and as farmland.
In response to these events, Iran’s Department of the Environment (DOE) has partnered with Panthera, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the United Nations Development Programme, to create the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP). Some of the goals of this conservation program are to mitigate any direct threats facing the cheetah, promote culture significance of the wild cat to the masses, and create better management of the protected areas.
While this is an encouraging start, we must do more to prevent this critically endangered species from becoming extinct. Tell Iran’s Environmental Protection Organization to enforce stronger legislation to prohibit poaching and improper gun licensing near where the cheetahs reside.
Dear Masoumeh Ebtekar,
The Asiatic Cheetah is quickly on its way to becoming extinct if we do not intervene. There are fewer than 100 remaining in the world today, largely due to human activity, such as hunting, poaching and habitat degradation.
This has to be stopped. Iran’s Department of the Environment (DOE) has partnered with Panthera, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the United Nations Development Programme, to create a thorough conservation plan (Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project) with several successes. A few include better grazing laws, increased cheetah research and improved public awareness. However, this is only a start. There is still a lot more that has to be done to protect these majestic creatures.
The cheetah is matter of cultural and environmental importance to Iran. To ensure a future for these animals, I am urging you to enforce stronger regulations to ensure that hunting, poaching and improper gun licensing does not take place anywhere near the cheetahs’ habitat.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Raul Gonzalez Molina via Wikimedia Commons