A key poacher arrested in Tandoureh

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A key poacher arrested in Tandoureh


Our camera trapping studies in Tandoureh enabled us to create a reliable map of the areas most frequented by leopards. We found one valley which was much used by some 10 leopards but rarely visited by rangers due to its remoteness and the difficulty of the trail that led to it. Fairly predictably, therefore, the valley became a hotspot for poachers. We decided to construct an access track into the valley, and four kilometers of mountain trail were built. Rangers can now get there in just half an hour compared to half a day before. On 13 October 2017, a quick response by the rangers and the greatly improved access to the valley enabled them to intercept a gang of poachers, composed of two individuals with a rifle, after they had shot two urial ewes. The poachers were arrested and are now in jail, subject to a penalty of US$2,500 for each ewe. One of them was the most outstanding poacher in Tandoureh, estimated to be shooting dozens of animals per year. Without such rapid access trails the best areas in the national parks can turn into a hell for wildlife but a heaven for poachers.

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