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.