Poaching drops thanks to coronavirus lockdown: DOE official

February 26, 2021 - 17:10

TEHRAN – The number of animals killed by poachers has decreased by 15 percent over the past 11 months compared to the same period last year, helped by the nationwide coronavirus lockdown and a halt in wildlife tourism, Jamshid Mohabbat-Khani, commander of the protection unit of the Department of Environment (DOE) said.

During this period, bird hunting decreased by 14 percent, aquatic fishing by 17 percent, live capture of birds by 39 percent, and live capture of mammals by 32 percent compared to the same period last year, he further explained.

Living conditions and economic situation affect people’s tendency to hunt animals in nature, another reason for poaching is the taste for shooting, he further lamented, IRNA reported on Thursday.

Currently, 3,600 rangers are in charge of defending the protected areas, which should reach at least up to 8,000, he said, adding, there are over 600 stations in the country, 100 of which are inactive due to lack of manpower.

According to the international standard, there should be one ranger per thousand hectares, but in Iran, there is one ranger per 12,000 hectares, which means that the number of rangers in Iran is one-twelfth of the world standard, while the rangers protect 11 percent of the country's natural areas, Mohabbat-Khani stated.

To compensate for part of this shortage, we obtained a license to hire rangers for 10 consecutive years, through which 250 ranchers were employed each year, he said, adding, this year, 300 rangers are to be recruited, 50 of whom are sea rangers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that about seven percent of wildfires were intentional and man-made, but violators have been reported to the judiciary.

FB/MG

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