Your Impact on the leopards

 
Iron horse for leopard shield

Iron horse for leopard shield

You may remember our first leopard shield, the ex-poacher who we recruited as a ranger to protect leopards and their prey in northern Iran. After six months of dedicated work by our novel ranger, we procured an “iron horse” for him – a powerful trail motorbike to enable him to better carry out anti-poaching patrolling in the area. He has been extremely successful for the past several months, deterring a few groups of poachers each month. The new bike enhances his social status and thus the support local people will give him, all of which improves his ability to patrol his area effectively. This is a remarkable step toward enhancing conservation in the area and will greatly aid our dedicated leopard shield.
Training tour for anti-poaching units

Training tour for anti-poaching units

Working as a ranger can be exciting, challenging, tough, but sometimes boring. Why? Spending three decades of life in a few valleys without receiving additional training, it is hard to find motivation and a positive drive, no matter how passionate and dedicated you are. Working 20 days each month to patrol vast mountains and plains leaves no time for rangers to get new insights and experiences. Often, rangers have never seen any other place than the area they patrol. We have been planning to arrange dedicated tours for rangers, supporting them to visit other reserves and to get to know colleagues working in other leopard areas. The first training tour was organized between 8 and 11 May 2017. Eight rangers from Dohezar-Sehezar visited Tandoureh National Park. They had the chance to meet Tandoureh’s rangers and to exchange their experience with poaching and countermeasures. In the meantime, visitor rangers learned more about eco-trips for local school kids within Tandoureh. The tour, which was supported by the Future4Leopards Foundation, was highly welcomed by rangers and the next tours are being planned already.
Poacher

Detecting poachers in the lands of leopards

Poaching poses a serious threat to wildlife and is most of the time hard to witness. Poachers carefully monitor ranger activities, gathering information on patrol activities in different areas. This allows them to identify the most vulnerable locations and times for different species. In many cases, understaffed and under-equipped rangers have to make a stand against poachers who are far better equipped. Future4Leopards Foundation aims to assist rangers in enhancing their anti-poaching performance through provision of equipment, proper infrastructures and, more recently, hidden camera traps. We are now donating camera traps to rangers within our pilot sites, the goal being twofold: monitoring poacher activity and studying wildlife, including leopards. Our trial project to detect poachers using camera traps has proven to work well. So far, we have detected at least 4 different gangs of poachers in Tandoureh and Dohezar-Sehezar. This was thanks to camera traps we donated to these areas. Currently, we are working to train local rangers to improve the deployment and management of these anti-poaching surveillance camera traps. In combination with an increase in the amount of camera traps, we are convinced this technology will be of great help in the reduction of poaching.
Trails

Trails for rangers to stop poachers

Working in rugged mountains is challenging, especially if proper trails do not exist. Rangers do their best to patrol mountains, in order to deter poachers from entering and shooting animals. However, central parts of reserves have limited accessibility, and sometimes they become a refuge for poachers who stay there for several days of shooting. We explored this problem during our ongoing camera trapping investigations in Tandoureh National Park. Accordingly, the Future4Leopards Foundation made a decision, aiming to increase anti-poaching efficacy. In partnership with our local stakeholders, we developed a plan to define top priority trails to be constructed for better accessibility of rangers. Finally, two trails were identified to be suitable pathways, a total of 4 km long. However there was another challenge, we had to make sure that these trails are used only by rangers and not poachers. We designed trails to start from ranger posts, so no one could enter unattended. Local villagers were hired to build trails and now rangers have much better access into the National Park’s heart.