NGO founded: 2001
Organisation aim: The mission of Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS) is to conserve Iran’s large carnivores in the wild and to research their ecology and status; to raise public awareness of Iran’s large carnivores and their associated biota through community based education programmes; and to reduce conflict between humans and large carnivores by encouraging enterprises that balance social and economic needs with conservation.
ICS is a non-governmental, not-for-private-profit organisation with headquarters in Tehran. ICS is the oldest Iranian NGO still active in wildlife conservation.
The ICS team is made up of more than 20 people – including staff and volunteers – who have a common aim to conserve Iran’s biodiversity and to ensure the survival of the cheetah and leopard in particular. The Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is ICS’s flagship species and the national symbol of Iran.
The Asiatic Cheetah is also called the Iranian Cheetah. Listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the Asiatic Cheetah now survives only in Iran where its population is estimated at fewer than 70.
ICS is dedicated to saving the Iranian ‘Big Five’ carnivores - Asiatic Cheetah, Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), also known as Caucasian Leopard, Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) and Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) - which are normally in conflict with local communities.
Currently, ICS is conducting various research projects on big carnivores and scientific findings are published in books and academic journals.
ICS is a consultant to the Iranian government on the conservation of the country’s big carnivores and cooperates with international agencies planning to establish wildlife-related projects in Iran.
ICS holds regular workshops and training courses to educate rangers and students about wildlife conservation issues. Drawing on more than a decade of experience in environmental education, ICS has an active education unit which, in partnership with the Iranian Ministry of Education, implements public programmes to increase people’s awareness of conservation.
In recent years ICS has set up a television documentary production unit to produce wildlife films for public broadcast. In search of the Persian Leopard, for example, was an award winning documentary produced by ICS about a group of Iranian researchers who spent six years studying the behaviour of the species.
Partnership with WLT
WLT was first introduced to ICS by our Armenian partner, Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) at FPWC’s 2011 conference The Role of Civil Society and Private Actors in Wildlife Protection in the South Caucasus.
In 2013 John Burton, WLT Chief Executive, visited Iran alongside Marc Hoogeslag of IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL) in order to assess a land protection project submitted by ICS to IUCN NL. While in Iran John met ICS staff and discussed possible partnership projects.
Work with WLT
At present WLT does not have any active projects with ICS.
Awards & achievements
2010: International Fajr Film Festival, Iran
2010: The Outstanding Iranian Champion, Iran
2009: Cinema Verite, Iran
2009: Future for Nature Award, Netherlands
2008: Pasargad Award, Iran
2007: White Rootser Award for Protection of Animals, Iran
2006: Future Conservationist Award, UK
2005: National Environment Award, Iran
Chief Executive: Morteza Eslami
Address: Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS)
PO Box 14155-8549