Persian leopard symbol of Iran’s Foolad club

January 1, 2020 - 11:47

TEHRAN – Iranian football club Foolad Khuzestan have chosen the Persian leopard as a symbol of the club.

Another Iranian club Zob Ahan of Isfahan have previously chosen Gando as a symbol of their club. Gando or short-muzzle crocodile, which is known as Iranian crocodile, is considered the largest reptile of Iran.

Now, Foolad Khuzestan are set to follow in the footsteps of Zob Ahan to protect the endangered species.

The Persian leopard is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List; the population is estimated at fewer than 871–1,290 mature individuals and considered declining.

According to the Department of Environment, 156 leopards have been killed in Iran from 2005 to 2014, nearly 20 leopards a year. Studies indicate that currently there are less than 500 leopards nationwide.

Persian leopards are mainly threatened by poaching, depletion of their prey base due to poaching, human disturbances, habitat loss due to deforestation, fire, agricultural expansion, overgrazing, and infrastructure development.

In Iran, primary threats are habitat disturbances followed by illegal hunting and excess of livestock in the leopard habitats. The leopards’ chances for survival outside protected areas appear very slim.

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