Hunting is illegal in Iran without a license/permit from the Department of Environment. Despite this, it is a serious problem for many reserves in the country, where it is predominantly organized by local hunters. Without the required licenses issued by Iran’s Department of the Environment, which are usually issued to trophy hunters (and may be subject to cancellation based on annual prey counts), any rifle carried in any reserve is considered to be for hunting (or poaching) purposes.
As part of the Project, hunters are approached; as might be expected, they are in severe conflict with local rangers. In order to help with the existing discontent and disagreements between hunters and local rangers, Future4Leopards has been organizing events for hunters and rangers to bring them into face to face discussions. We pay close attention to the hunters’ points and concerns, offer them gifts as an incentive, and apply practical ideas or suggestions that we hear from either group. Importantly, we are negotiating with local military authorities, as well as DoE stakeholders, to launch shooting competitions for hunters outside Tandoureh National Park to meet their recreational demands.
In the Project, we believe that as well as general solutions each individual hunter needs a specific resolution of his particular concern and, if appropriate, some kind of incentive. Therefore, we plan to support a number of the main or most active hunters we encounter by addressing their personal needs, like provision of insurance cover or scholarships for their children. Needless to say, a condition of being awarded these benefits is that they must refrain from hunting for as long as they are receiving them.