Since January 2017, the Project Future4Leopards has hired a local cattle rancher in northern Iran, to serve as a “leopard shield”. Mohammad Anbalou, the country’s first leopard shield, works in areas neighboring Dohezar-Sehezar No Hunting Area, which is well-known to host different charismatic mammals, including Persian leopard and its prey species. 25 years old, Mohammad’s job is to patrol the area, investigating conflict cases with the leopards, controlling poaching activities in partnership with local rangers and deploying camera traps, while looking after his cattle deep into forest. He is working closely with local rangers, and preliminary training has been provided by both the Project as well as Department of Environment. He wears similar to rangers and informs them whenever needed, such as sighting of poachers.
Strategic position of his summer and winter ranch in the heart of the area, along with his passion and enthusiasm for nature, have made him a unique candidate to establish this program, i.e. leopard shield for the first time in Iran. During his first days of patrolling, he stopped a poacher just shot a wild pig from more illegal activities. He is fully funded by the Project and you can support us to continue this critical program, hiring locals to save their treasury, for the benefit of leopards as well as coexisting communities.