Conservationists work to protect endangered species in Iraq – PBS NewsHour

Simona Foltyn:

Hunting in Kurdistan is forbidden, except for two bird species and the hare. But the rangers are too under-resourced, too thinly spread to enforce regulations.

Oil exploration here in the Qara Dagh Mountains risks further hampering conservation efforts. For four years, conservationists have lobbied authorities to designate Qara Dagh as a nature reserve for the Persian leopard. But the process has been hampered by red tape, the lack of adequate legislation, as well as urgency on the part of the regional government, which is grappling with a myriad of political, economic and security issues.

To catch a glimpse of the Persian leopard, we had to visit the zoo in nearby Duhok. This 6-year-old male recently lost his hind leg when he fell into a trap set by local farmers. Wildlife vet and conservation is Dr. Sulaiman Tameer had no choice but to amputate the injured leg. The leopard now faces a lifetime in captivity.

But Dr. Sulaiman hopes the animal could still prove useful for conservation efforts.

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Conservationists work to protect endangered species in Iraq - PBS NewsHour

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