Iran Receives UNDP Aid Package to Protect Asian Cheetah

October 21, 2002
SHAHROUD, Semnan Prov. -- Head of Shahroud Department of the Environment (DOE) Mikail Ali Mirzaei said here on Sunday that an aid package worth $725,000 has been extended to Iran by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to protect the Asian cheetah.

Ali Mirzaei said, "The package aiming at the protection of cheetah was allocated to Iran's DOE on behalf of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) after some rare species were observed on many occasions across the provinces of Semnan, Khorasan and Yazd.

According to Mirzaei since March 21, a total of 18 cheetahs have been observed on seven different occasions in Shahroud's National Park of Khar-o-Touran.

Referring to the installation of 15 tele-cameras across the area to identify more cheetahs, he mentioned the cheetah which was released in the Khar-o-Touran National Park, once it was trapped in the area and registered.

Mirzai added that the project on the protection of the Asian cheetah was enforced at Shahroud's Khar-o-Touran National Park as of last September.

According to him, currently the number of the manpower occupied with the protection of Asian cheetah in the city of Shahroud amounts to eight.

Cheetah is among the rare animals in the world, whose generation was earlier believed to have extinct, IRNA reported.

At present the rare species of Asian cheetah are proved to exist only in Iran and many people worldwide are unaware of it and the cooperation of people with the DOE for its protection is quite necessary.

In view of the significance of the national project on protection of the Asian cheetah from its complete extinction in the area, it marks the most superior type of wildlife among communities.

Besides, the project has been approved by President Mohammad Khatami and new measures have been planned jointly by the UNDP and DOE with the close cooperation of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agricultural Jihad, Ministry of Industries and Mines as well as Management and Planning Organization to prevent the extinction of this rare species.