Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Iranian Cheetah Society becomes new WLT partner

24 February, 2014 - 15:55 -- World Land Trust
Iranian Cheetah image on football shirt.

World Land Trust (WLT) is in the process of formalising a partnership with the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS), Iran’s longest established non-governmental organisation still active in wildlife conservation.

The idea for a partnership was developed after a trip to Iran by John Burton, WLT Chief Executive, in late 2013. During the visit John met ICS representatives and visited reserves in north central Iran where ICS has research projects.

The ICS team is made up of more than 20 people – including staff and volunteers – who work to conserve Iran’s biodiversity and to ensure the survival of the country’s large carnivores, in particular Asiatic Cheetah and Persian Leopard (also known as Caucasian Leopard).

ICS was first introduced to WLT by staff of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), WLT’s partner in Armenia. Caucasian Leopard range from southern Armenia into Iran, and both FPWC and ICS share a common aim to protect Caucasian Leopard in the wild.

“We are very much looking forward to working with ICS and developing WLT’s conservation portfolio in the Middle East.”
(Mary McEvoy, WLT’s Conservation Manager - Asia)

“We are very much looking forward to working with ICS and developing WLT’s conservation portfolio in the Middle East,” said Mary McEvoy, WLT’s Conservation Manager (Asia).

“WLT is a globally innovative conservation organisation with an inspiring 25 years of experience. As a pioneering wildlife protection NGO in Iran, the Iranian Cheetah Society is thrilled to become a new WLT partner,” said Morteza Eslami, ICS Chief Executive. “The partnership will be a milestone for expanding substantial conservation work through innovative approaches into the Middle East, a region with high biodiversity but in need of protection for the future.”

Asiatic Cheetah

The Asiatic Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) is ICS’s flagship species and the national symbol of Iran.

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 individuals.

At the beginning of February the Iran Football Federation announced that an image of the cheetah will feature on the national team’s football shirt for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

“After 6 months, a group of national organisations made up of Iran’s Department of Environment and various activists and NGOs, including ICS, has finally convinced the National Football Federation to use an image of the Asiatic Cheetah on the team jersey,” said Morteza Eslami. “This will give us a great opportunity to spread the word about the critical status of this beautiful species during this summer and beyond.”


Submitted by Dominic Belfield on

This is great news, great to show that links can be forged across the globe centred around natural wealth and wildlife preservation. And where religion and politics fail (who would ever have guessed?!) the love of rare and beautiful fauna and flora can succeed in encouraging humans to unite and find creative solutions.

Let's make it work !

Submitted by Noushin Y.Farsani on

I am very pleased to hear that the Iranian Cheetah Society will form a close partnership with the World Land Trust. I look forward to hearing of your future endeavours. I am also happy to see that the Iranian Football team have designed a great addition to their shirts, let hope it increases awareness of these beautiful cheetahs.

Submitted by Mary McEvoy on

Dear Brenty,

Now that WLT has a partnership with ICS we hope to be fundraising for a specific project in the future. In the meantime we guarantee that any donation of £500 or more earmarked for ICS will be passed on to them without deduction.

World Land Trust

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