Will Iran finally grant the conservationists their legal rights?

The last week has seen the release of thousands of prisoners in Iran, following the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s approval of a general pardon and commutation of sentences earlier this month. The seven wildlife conservationists, Niloufar Bayani, Morad Tahbaz, Taher Ghadirian, Houman Jowkar, Sepideh Kashani, Amirhossein Khaleghi and Sam Radjabi, were told the pardon or amnesty would apply to them as well, but there is doubt whether that will be in fact the case.

While a large number of prisoners, including criminals, have been released under the latest pardon, it is not clear why the conservationists are still being held back. They have told friends that they have received ambiguous messages about their prospect of release. Based on their many previous experiences with the prison authorities and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who continue to keep a tight grip on their situation, they worry that they may only be told they are going to be pardoned to be kept quiet and that they will again be denied their rights at the end of the day.

Because of their international collaborations in the field of wildlife and nature conservation science, the seven Iranian conservationists were convicted for “contacts with the U.S. enemy state”. Niloufar Bayani and Morad Tahbaz were additionally convicted of “gaining illegitimate income”, referring to Niloufar’s salary when working for the United Nations Environment Programme, and the donations Morad had raised for the work of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation.

According to Article 110 of Iran’s Constitution, pardoning convicts or commuting their sentences can take place if the judiciary chief makes the proposal and the Supreme Leader approves it. (Source: aa.com.tr) Exactly this happened on February 5th 2023. The pardon typically does not apply to those who have “espionage/security” charges, but Fariba Adelkhah, an Iranian/French anthropologist, detained on such charges, was just released allegedly under Article 110.

According to Article 58 of the Islamic Penal Code, those sentenced to prison for more than 10 years can be released if they serve half of their term, and those that have served shorter sentences can be released from prison after serving a third of their term. This is called “Azadi-ye mashrut” – Parole.

While it is pending whether the amnesty law clearly applies to the imprisoned conservationists, Azadi-ye mashrut does and all imprisoned conservationists should be released on parole.  

Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director, has on Monday re-issued her plea to release Niloufar Bayani and the remaining conservationists, “taking note of pardons recently issued by Iranian authorities”. Joining her call is also Jon Paul Rodriguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), urging clemency and the safe return home for all of the conservationists. Houman Jowkar, Taher Ghadirian and Amirhossein Khaleghi are members of several IUCN SSC specialist groups, including cat and bear.

We call upon the Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to pardon the Iranian conservationists and the Iran Judiciary to apply their laws: in the case amnesty is not granted to honor their legal system and apply Article 58.

We invite everyone to join the plea for the release of our dear friends and colleagues.

Call to Protect Persian leopards, and their defenders, for World Environment Day

Persian leopard caught on camera trap in Golestan National Park, Iran, in 2011. Credits: Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Department of Environment of the I.R. of Iran

At the occasion of World Environment Day on 5th June 2022 , renowned conservationist Jane Goodall, Iranian actress and conservation advocate Hediyeh Tehrani and 48 further conservationists are calling on governments and people to work together in conservation and to safeguard endangered wildlife and its conservationists from peril through political conflicts. In their letter, published on Mongabay today, the signatories call for the release of the imprisoned conservationists from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, but also for other measures including the removal of international barriers to effectively and safely collaborating in the fields of conservation and development.
The Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana, also known as P.p. saxicolor or P.p. ciscaucasica) is seen as a symbol of hope for many, and yet its persistence is in danger of falling victim to political differences and conflicts. Its range extends across Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan where they function as top predators and umbrella species for the ecosystems they inhabit. The core of the population lives in Iran, where our imprisoned colleagues and friends were actively involved in studying and protecting not only Asiatic cheetahs, but also the majestic leopards. Their use of camera traps for population monitoring was being misunderstood at the time, leading to their arrests almost 4 and a half years ago. The Persian Leopard inspires and needs us to join our hearts, minds, and efforts to enable this and other endangered species to persist through times of human hardships and to still be part of our nature in the future.


Iranian conservationists have been imprisoned since January 2018 for their wildlife conservation and research work, suspected of espionage and threatening National Security. In November 2019, after 22 months of legal limbo in detention and despite no apparent evidence against them, they were sentenced to up to ten years in prison alongside other punishments.

As of February 2023, after more than five years, seven conservationists still remain in Evin prison.*

Environmentalists in Iran and the whole world have lauded the work of their imprisoned colleagues, worry about their safety and stand in solidarity.

This website was created by friends of the detained conservationists to publish a letter of concern from the international conservation community, and to provide factual background information.
Please help raise awareness for our friends.

*Originally, more conservationists were detained including Kavous Seyyed-Emami who died in detention in February 2018, and Abdolreza Koupayeh who was released in March 2020.

Petition: Demand for prison furlough for the eight imprisoned Iranian conservationists

Please follow THIS LINK or the button below to the petition site. There you can add your name to the original version of this letter (in Farsi) that will be sent to the Chief of Justice of the I.R. of Iran

Name of Petition: خواستار مرخصی فوری برای فعالان محیط زیستی زندانی هستیم

English translation of the petition letter:

To the Chief Justice of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Mr. Ebrahim Raisi,

As you are aware, eight conservationists have been detained for more than two years without any furlough. They were first temporarily incarcerated and after their verdicts were pronounced, they have been spending their sentences during the past few months. In the meanwhile they made appeals to their preliminary sentences, which were upheld by the Court of Appeal.

During the past several weeks, Coronavirus outbreak has caused serious concerns for the people of our country, and hence, you timely published a statement in which you instruct prison authorities to favor detainees with furloughs in order to ensure their good health and well-being.

Signatories of this letter, still in shock from the heavy sentences that were issued, are now deeply concerned about the health of the imprisoned conservationists.

Hence, in view of the current distressful situation that the country and especially the families of the detainees are facing, we demand you vigorously to kindly bestow furlough upon them, so that they can each be quarantined in their own home.

Letter of Concern from the International Community of Conservationists and Scholars

Via email to: iran@un.int, via fax to: +1 212 867-7086. 21 November 2018

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
c/o H.E. Mr. Gholamali Khoshroo Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations 622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA

Your Excellency:

We are an international community of conservation practitioners and scholars. We all chose this path out of sheer love and passion for wildlife and the natural environment, both of which are increasingly under pressure in many regions of the world. We work in many such places, in order to address these challenges in close collaboration with national scientists, conservationists, and governmental organizations. Many of us have worked in Iran in the past.

Nine months ago, our colleagues Houman Jowkar, Taher Ghadirian, Sepideh Kashani, Niloufar Bayani, Morad Tahbaz, Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi, Sam Radjabi, Abdolreza Kouhpayeh, and Kavous Seyed Emami, were arrested and have since been in prison, with Mr. Seyed Emami regrettably passing away during that period. Four of them are now charged with “sowing corruption on earth”. We understand these charges are in connection to conservationists using tools of science, such as camera traps, which are suspected of having been used to undermine the national security interests of Iran.

Camera traps are now a standard tool for wildlife monitoring, being deployed for that purpose in many regions around the world. Camera traps deliver invaluable, first-hand evidence on the presence of endangered species when they approach within a few meters. They are an essential tool in providing a critical basis for both science and conservation strategies to save species from extinction.

All of the conservationists in question have dedicated their lives to the conservation of wildlife in Iran, including the critically endangered Asiatic cheetah. Throughout their careers, they have always promoted the image of Iran in the international conservation community and applauded its efforts to conserve wildlife while facing many other challenges. They have also inspired young biologists and conservationists in Iran to follow in their footsteps. To the best of our knowledge, our colleagues have worked and carried themselves with the highest moral integrity.

We are convinced that their work and research had no second means or objectives. Given the general international political backdrop and sometimes tense relationships between countries, we fully understand the current concerns. We are horrified about the thought that the neutral field of conservation could ever be used to pursue political objectives. We as a community strongly condemn that, and we are convinced our colleagues had no such part.

We stand by the innocence of the conservationists in question and urge you to call for a fair and just evaluation of the evidence, access to lawyers of their choice and a transparent trial. Some of us are ready to provide evidence and witness testimony upon request.


The Honorable Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. (south of Serah-e Jomhouri) Tehran 1316814737
Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir

Distinguished conservationists

  1. Jane Goodall DBE, Founder – Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace
  2. George Archibald, Co-Founder & Senior Conservationist, International Crane Foundation
  3. Iain Douglas-Hamilton CBE, Founder, Save the Elephants
  4. Carl G. Jones MBE, Professor, Chief Scientist – Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Scientific Director – Mauritian Wildlife Foundation *
  5. Ullas Karanth, Director – Centre for Wildlife Studies, Fellow – Indian Academy of Sciences
  6. Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International *
  7. Laurie Marker, Founder & Executive Director – Cheetah Conservation Fund, Chair – Large Carnivore Management Association of Namibia
  8. Ian Redmond OBE, Ambassador – UNEP Convention on Migratory Species, Chairman – Ape Alliance, Chairman – The Gorilla Organization
  9. Michael Succow, Professor Emeritus, Michael Succow Foundation for the Protection of Nature


  1. Huseyin Ambarli, Assistant Professor, Duzce University, Turkey
  2. Steven C. Anderson, Professor Emeritus – University of the Pacific, Fellow and Research Associate – California Academy of Sciences, USA
  3. Alexandre Antonelli, Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  4. Sergio A. Balaguera-Reina, Associate Professor, Universidad de Ibague, Colombia
  5. Andrew Balmford, Professor, University of Cambridge, UK
  6. Sabine Begall, Professor, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  7. Nard Bennas, Professor, Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Morocco
  8. Matthew Betts, Professor, Oregon State University, USA
  9. Luigi Boitani, Professor, Universita di Roma, Italy
  10. Nils Bunnefeld, Professor, Stirling University, UK
  11. Cole Burton, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
  12. Gerardo Ceballos, Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
  13. Guillaume Chapron, Associate Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  14. Yann Clough, Professor, Lund University, Sweden
  15. Joseph Cook, Professor, University of New Mexico, USA
  16. Joris Cromsigt, Associate Professor, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  17. Andrew Cunningham, Professor – Deputy Director, Zoological Society of London, UK
  18. Valerie Curtis, Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
  19. Satoshi Daigako Ohdachi, Assistant Professor, Hokkaido University, Japan
  20. Chris Darimont, Associate Professor, University of Victoria, Canada
  21. Zoe Davies, Professor, University of Kent, UK
  22. Nishith Dharaiya, Associate Professor, Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, India
  23. Alia Dietsch, Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, USA *
  24. Enrico Di Minin, Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland
  25. Karlheinz Erb, Associate Professor, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
  26. Rasmus Fensholt, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  27. Marco Festa-Bianchet, Professor, University of Sherbrooke, Canada
  28. Juraj Grizelj, Professor, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  29. Helmut Haberl, Professor, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
  30. Rob Harcourt, Professor, Macquarie University, Australia *
  31. Matthew W. Hayward, Associate Professor, University of Newcastle, Australia *
  32. Ignas Heitkonig, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University , The Netherlands *
  33. Kristofer Helgen, Professor, University of Adelaide, Australia
  34. Djuro Huber, Professor Emeritus, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  35. Mei Hshi Hwang, Associate Professor, National Pingtung University of Science & Technology, Taiwan
  36. Hans de Iongh, Professor, University of Antwerp – Institute of Environmental Sciences, Belgium – The Netherlands
  37. Klemen Jerina, Associate Professor, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  38. Julia P.G. Jones, Professor, Bangor University, UK
  39. Douglas Kelt, Professor, University of California, USA
  40. Christian Kiffner, Professor, The School of Field Studies, Tanzania
  41. Richard Kingsford, Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia
  42. John Koprowski, Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, USA
  43. Stephanie Kramer-Schadt, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany
  44. Holger Kreft, Professor, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany
  45. Mariska Kret, Assistant Professor, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  46. Miha Krofel, Assistant Professor, Ljubljana University, Slovenia
  47. Tobias Kuemmerle, Professor, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany
  48. Thomas Lacher Jr., Professor, Texas A&M University, USA
  49. Paolo Lanfranchi, Professor, University of Milan, Italy
  50. Bill Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor – Australian Laureate & Prince Bernhard Chair (Emeritus), James Cook University – International Nature Conservation, Australia
  51. Sandro Lovari, Senior Professor – Siena University, Chairman – 
    IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group, Italy
  52. Ralph Mac Nally, Centenary Professor, University of Canberra, Australia
  53. Georgina Mace, Professor, University College London, UK
  54. Ikki Matsuda, Associate Professor, Chubu University, Japan
  55. Rodrigo Medellin, Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
  56. Patrick Meyfroidt, Professor, UCLouvain, Belgium
  57. Martine Maron, Associate Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia *
  58. Eleanor-Jane Milner-Gulland, Professor, University of Oxford, UK
  59. Marco Musiani, Professor, University of Calgary, Canada
  60. Anna Nekaris, Professor, Oxford Brookes University, UK
  61. Kate Neville, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Canada
  62. Dusit Ngoprasert, Professor, Thai University, Thailand
  63. Vincent Nijman, Professor, Oxford Brooks University, UK
  64. Javier Palomo, Professor, University of Malaga, Spain
  65. James L. Patton, Professor Emeritus – University of California, Curator – Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, USA  
  66. Jairo Perez-Torres, Associate Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia
  67. Stuart Pimm, Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  68. Viorel D. Popescu, Assistant Professor, Ohio University, USA
  69. Hugh Possingham, Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia
  70. Andrew S. Pullin, Professor, Bangor University, UK
  71. Shiamala Ratnayeke, Associate Professor, Sunway University, Malaysia
  72. Steven Redpath, Professor, University of Aberdeen, UK
  73. Tracey Rogers, Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia *
  74. Virgilio do Rosario, Professor Emeritus, University Nova de Lisboa, Portugal
  75. Luca Rossi, Professor, University of Torino, Italy
  76. Jarkko Saarinen, Professor, University of Oulu, Finland
  77. Nuria Selva, Professor, Polish Academy of Sciences – IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Poland
  78. Narayan Sharma, Associate Professor, Cotton University, India
  79. Anindya Sinha, Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, India
  80. Thomas Sterner, Professor, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  81. Cédric Sueur, Associate Professor, University of Strasbourg, France
  82. Bill Sutherland, Professor, Cambridge University, UK
  83. Jon E. Swenson, Professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences – Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway
  84. Christian Walzer, Professor, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
  85. James Watson, Professor – Director of Science and Research Initiative at the Wildlife Conservation Society, University of Queensland, Australia
  86. Serge Wich, Professor, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
  87. Richard Woodward, Professor, Texas A&M University, USA
  88. Richard Wrangham, Professor – Harvard University,
    Founder – Kibale Chimpanzee Project, USA
  89. Wolfgang Wüster, Professor, Bangor University, UK
  90. Yuki Yamada, Associate Professor, Kyushu University, Japan
  91. Nobuyuki Yamaguchi, Associate Professor, Qatar University, Qatar
  92. Heliot Zarza, Professor, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana Unidad Lerma, Mexico
  93. Andreas Zedrosser, Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway


  1. Teresa Abaigar, Researcher, Spanish National Research Council, Spain
  2. Aldemar A. Acevedo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  3. Korsh Ararat, University of Sulaimani, Iraq
  4. Nasser Al-Arimi, Researcher, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman *
  5. Francisco Álvares, Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  6. Franco Andreone, Curator of Zoology, Turin Museum of Natural History – IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, Italy
  7. Marine Arakelyan, Head of Chair of Zoology, Yerevan State University, Armenia
  8. Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico
  9. Anibal Arce Medina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  10. Marc Artois, Retired Health Ecologist, Lorraine Investigation in Animal and Environment Health, France
  11. Kamil Bartoń, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  12. Colin Beale, Lecturer, University of York, UK
  13. Mohammed Lamine Bendjeddou, Researcher, Chadli Bendjedid University, Algeria *
  14. Ana Benitez-Lopez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Radboud University, The Netherlands
  15. Carmen Bessa Gomes, Lecturer, AgroParisTech, France
  16. José Carlos Brito, Principal Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  17. Ana Rita Caldas Patrício, Researcher, University of Exeter – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, UK-Portugal
  18. Alison Cameron, Senior Lecturer, Bangor University, UK
  19. Miguel Carretero, Principal Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  20. Victor Castelazo Calva, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  21. Paulo Catry, Research Fellow, Marine and Environmental Sciences Center, ISPA – Instituto Universitário, Portugal
  22. Teresa Catry, Research Assistant, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  23. Anthony Chariton, Senior Scientist – Lecturer, Macquarie University, Australia
  24. Marie Charpentier, Director of Research, University of Montpellier, France
  25. Eustatius du Chavoux Luyt, Stellenbosch University, South Africa – Namibia
  26. Rosie Cooney, Honorary Lecturer, Australian National University, Australia
  27. Paola Correa, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  28. Malinalli Cortés Marcial, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Xochimilco, Mexico
  29. Angelica Crottini, Auxiliary Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  30. Fredrik Dalerum, University of Oviedo, Spain
  31. Askar Davletbakov, National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyzstan
  32. Marta DeBarba, Researcher, Laboratoire d Ecologie Alpine, France
  33. Maylis Desrousseaux, Conservatoire national des arts et métiers-L’École supérieure des géomètres et topographes, France
  34. Lilia Dmitrieva, Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK
  35. Sarah Durant, Senior Research Fellow – Zoological Society of London, Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute – Tanzania National Parks, UK
  36. Johan Ekroos, Research Scientist, Lund University, Sweden *
  37. Andy Foote, Senior Researcher, University of Bangor, UK
  38. Nikunj Gajera, Gujarat Institute Of Desert Ecology, India
  39. Cécile Garcia, Researcher, Musée de l’Homme, France
  40. Veronika Gaube, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
  41. Alexander Georgiev, Lecturer, Bangor University, UK
  42. Martin Gilbert, Doctor in Wildlife Health, UK
  43. Luis Martin Gonzalez Gomez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  44. Simon Goodman, Group Leader, University of Leeds, UK
  45. Juan Herrero, Lecturer, University of Saragossa, Spain
  46. Marco Heurich, Privat Dozent – Chair of Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Freiburg, Germany
  47. Amy Hinsley, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford, UK *
  48. Susan Hitschfeld, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  49. Catherine Hobaiter, Lecturer, University of St Andrews, UK
  50. Maarten Hofman, Georg-August, University of Goettingen, Germany
  51. Luke Hunter, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  52. Ivan Ineich, Lecturer, Paris Natural History Museum, France
  53. Maria Isidora Avila, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  54. Jennifer Jackson, Senior Scientist, British Antarctic Survey, UK
  55. Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou, Auxiliary Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  56. Khalil Karimov, Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan
  57. Vassiliki Kati, University of Ioannina, Greece
  58. Petra Kazcensky, Researcher, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research Norway
  59. Munira Kharamkhudoeva, Pamir Biological Institute, Tajikistan
  60. Gesa Kluth, LUPUS – German Institute for Wolf Monitoring and Research, Germany
  61. Macej Konopinski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  62. Stefan Kreft, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany
  63. Miroslav Kutal, Mendel University Brno, Czech Republic
  64. Rahim Kulenbekov, Bishkek Humanities University, Kyrgyzstan
  65. Sergio Lambertucci, Researcher, Comahue National University,Argentina
  66. Pedro J. Leitão, Postdoctoral Researcher, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Germany
  67. Ricardo Lopez Wilchis, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, Mexico
  68. Hiba Loumassine, Researcher, University of Tiaret, Algeria *
  69. Tanja Lumetsberger, Research Assistant, Danube University Krems, Austria
  70. Petros Lymberakis, Researcher, Natural History Museum of Crete, Greece
  71. Milena Salgado Lynn, Researcher, Danau Girang Field Center, Malaysia *
  72. María Cristina Mac Swiney González, Instituto de Ecología A.C., Mexic
  73. Anita Malhotra, Researcher, Bangor University, UK
  74. Rosaleen March, Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  75. Silvio Marchini, Research Associate, University of Sao Paulo – Chester Zoo, Brazil – UK
  76. Gabriel M. Martin, Adjunct Researcher, National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Argentina
  77. Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Researcher, National Museum of Natural History, Spain
  78. Dime Melovski, Macedonian Ecological Society, Macedonia
  79. Joerg Melzheimer, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany
  80. Marcos Moleón, University of Grenada, Spain
  81. Ronaldo Morato, Group Leader, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Brazil
  82. Elisabeth Morris-Webb, Researcher, Bangor University, UK *
  83. Kakoli Mukhopadhyay, Senior Scientist, Dhole’s Den Research Foundation, India
  84. Manuel Muñoz Rodríguez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  85. Javier Naves, Researcher, Doñana Biological Station, Spain
  86. Barthélemy Ngoubangoye, Head of Primate Center, Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville, Gabon
  87. Ana Nuno, Research Fellow, University of Exeter, UK
  88. Esmar Ocelotlcuauhtli Guzmán Díaz, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico
  89. Andres Ortiz Pontificia, Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  90. Nuzar Oshurmamadov, Pamir Biological Institute, Tajikistan
  91. Sandra Milena Ospina Garcés, Instituto de Ecologia AC, Mexico
  92. Theodore Papenfuss, Research Biologist, University of California, USA
  93. Francisca Parada Ramírez, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  94. Lain Pardo, James Cook University, Australia
  95. Marta Pascual Berniola, Lecturer, University of Barcelona, Spain
  96. Chris Pavey, Senior Researcher, CSIRO Land and Water, Australia
  97. Maria Petridou, University of Ioannina, Greece
  98. Freddy Pérez Garduza, Centro del Cambio Global y la Sustentabilidad, Mexico
  99. Luz Adriana Pérez Solano, Universidad de Chile, Chil
  100. Ruben Portas, Research Assistant, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, German
  101. Stefan Prost, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, LOEWE-Center for Translational Biodiversity Genomics, Senckenberg, Germany and Research Associate, South African National Biodiversity Institue, National Zoological Gardens, South Africa *
  102. Marc Franch Quintana, Researcher, University of Girona, Spain
  103. Karina Ramos Rendón, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
  104. Hugo Rebelo, Auxiliary Researcher, Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Portugal
  105. Ilka Reinhardt, LUPUS – German Institute for Wolf Monitoring and Research, Germany
  106. Julien Renoult, Researcher, Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Montpellier, France
  107. Rafael Reyna, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico
  108. Carla Rivera, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  109. Ricardo Rocha, Research Associate, Cambridge University, UK *
  110. Ana S.L. Rodrigues, Senior Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France
  111. Benito Rosende, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  112. Niki Rust, Newcastle, University, UK
  113. Alberto Sanchez, Researcher, National Museum of Natural History, Spain *
  114. Xavier Santos Santiró, Researcher, INS Les Corts, Spain
  115. Laurent Schley, Secretary of the European Mammal Foundation, Luxembourg
  116. Natalie Schmitt, Postdoctoral Fellow, McMaster University, Canada
  117. Pedro Segurado, Auxiliary Researcher, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  118. Agniezska Sergiel, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  119. José Manuel Serrano, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
  120. Takuya Shamida, Forestry & Forest Products Research Institute, Japan
  121. Neftali Sillero, Researcher, Research Centre on Geo-Spatial Science, Portugal
  122. Barbara Smetschka, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
  123. Robert J. Smith, Reader – University of Kent, Director – Durrell Institute of Conservation and Eology, UK
  124. Etotépé A. Sogbohossou, University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin
  125. Freya St John, Lecturer, Bangor University, UK
  126. Florian Stein, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Germany
  127. Matthew Struebig, Senior Lecturer, University of Kent, UK
  128. Claudia Szentiks, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany
  129. Konstantin Tirronen, Group Leader Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  130. Ricardo Tomé, Scientific Director, STRIX, Portugal
  131. Matthew Town, Research Manager, African Bat Conservation, UK *
  132. Igor Trbojević, Veterinary Pathologist, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  133. Francesco Ventura, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  134. Piero Visconti, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
  135. Freek Vonk, Researcher, Naturalis Biodiversity Center, The Netherlands
  136. Matthias Waltert, Privat Dozent, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany
  137. Charlotte Whitham, Researcher, CzechGlobe, Czech Republic *
  138. Andreas Wilting, Group Leader Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Germany
  139. Karina Yañez Aroche, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
  140. Frank Zachos, Privat Dozent, Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria
  141. Anamarija Zagar, Associate Researcher, National Institute of Biology, Slovenia
  142. Alexandra Zimmermann, University of Oxford, UK
  143. Fridolin Zimmermann, Researcher, Carnivore Ecology and Wildlife Managemet (KORA), Switzerland *
  144. Mauro Giovanni Zucconi R, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
  145. Marco Zuffi, Curator, Museum of Natural History, University of Pisa – IUCN/SSC Viper Specialist Group, Italy
  146. Damaris Zurell, Group Leader, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany

Conservation practitioners

  1. Jassim Al-Asadi, Nature Iraq, Iraq
  2. Marc Ancrenaz, Coordinator Borneo Futures Initiative, Malaysia
  3. Sow Andack Saad, Environmentalist, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritania *
  4. Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust, India
  5. Ariadne Angulo, Co-Chair, IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, Canada
  6. Angelika Appel, Managing Director, Wild Cat Network, Germany
  7. Shivani Balla, Founder & Director Ewaso Lions, Kenya
  8. Oliver Barker, Conservationist, Canada
  9. Rui Bernardino, Veterinarian, Lisbon Zoo, Portugal
  10. Richard Bonham, Director of Operations, Big Life Foundation, Kenya
  11. Valeria Boron, Conservationist, WWF-UK, UK
  12. Gill Braulik, IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, UK
  13. Michael Brombacher, Head of Europe Department, Frankfurt Zoological Society,    Germany
  14. Chris Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Namibian Chamber of Environment, Namibia
  15. Stuart Butchart, Chief Scientist, BirdLife International, UK
  16. Elena Bykova, Conservationist, Saiga Conservation Alliance, Uzbekistan
  17. Shahriar Caesar Rahman, Regional Vice-Chair, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Bangladesh
  18. Armando Castellanos, President, Andean Bear Foundation, Ecuador
  19. Xim Cerda, Director, Doñana Biological Station, Spain
  20. Rok Černe, Project Manager, Slovenia Forest Service, Slovenia
  21. Dan Challender, Chair, IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, UK *
  22. Lara Ciarniello, Co-Chair Human-Bear Conflicts Expert Team, IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Canada
  23. Nigel Collar, Research Fellow, Birdlife International, UK
  24. Koen Cuyten, Project Manager, Rewilding Foundation – Bears in Mind, The Netherlands
  25. Aparajita Datta, Senior Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation, India
  26. Jaidev Dhadhal, Conservationist, India
  27. Jose Dias Ferreira, Curator – EEP Coordinator for Persian Leopard Lisbon Zoo, Portugal
  28. Simon Dowell, Science Director Chester Zoo, UK
  29. Simone Eckhardt, Director, Stitching SPOTS, The Netherlands *
  30. Farwiza Farhan, Chairperson Yayasan HAkA, Indonesia
  31. Catarina Ferreira, Coordinator Global Species Program at IUCN, Belgium
  32. Martin Fisher, Fauna and Flora International, UK
  33. Gabriella Fredriksson, Founder, Pan Eco Foundation, Switzerland
  34. Cintia Garai, Co-Founder, Wildlife Messengers, Hungary
  35. Manoj Gautam, Jane Goodall Institute, Nepal
  36. George Giacomini, Caucasus Nature Fund, Georgia
  37. David Gill, Conservationist, UK
  38. Jose F. Gonzalez-Maya, Director, ProCAT Internacional, Colombia
  39. Rosemary Groom, Southern African Coordinator, Range Wide Conservation Program for Cheetah and African Wild Dogs, Tanzania
  40. Lise Hanssen, Project Coordinator, Kwando Carnivore Project, Namibia
  41. Caroline, Harcourt, Convenor, Conservation Working Party – Primate Society of Great Britain, UK *
  42. Kate Harris, Conservationist, Canada
  43. Simon Hedges, Chief Executive Officer – Co-founder, Asian Arks, UK
  44. Christoph Heinrich, Chief Conservation Director, WWF-Germany, Germany
  45. F. Javier Herrera Sanchez, Conservationist, Wildlife Study and Conservation Association Harmusch, Spain
  46. Mike Hoffmann, Head of Global Conservation Programmes Zoological Society of London, UK
  47. Trevor Jones Director, Southern Tanzania Elephant Program, Tanzania
  48. Sandesh Kadur, Conservationist, India
  49. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Through Public Health, Uganda
  50. Sebastian Kennerknecht, Conservationist, Germany
  51. Ambika Khatiwada, Conservationist, National Trust for Nature Conservation,  Nepal
  52. Monsoon Khatiwada, Conservationist, Nepal
  53. Rebecca Klein, Executive Director, Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Botswana
  54. Lydia Kolter, Scientist, Curator & Population Manager, Cologne Zoo – IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Germany
  55. Piia Kortsalo, Conservationist, Canada
  56. Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki, Zoologist, Society for Conservation Biology-Europe, Hungary
  57. Zairbek Kubanychbekov, Director, Ilbirs Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
  58. Ajuth Kumar Course, Director, Wildlife Conservation Society-India, India
  59. Alice Laguardia, Senior Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Society, Gabon
  60. Els van Lavieren, Director, Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation, Morocco
  61. Peep Männil, Conservationist, Estonian Environment Agency, Estonia
  62. Bronwyn Maree, FAO-South Africa, South Africa
  63. Rowan O. Martin, Director, World Parrot Trust Africa Conservation Programme, UK
  64. Ivan Mauricio Vela-Vargas, Research Associate, Pro-CAT Internacional, Colombia
  65. Patrick Meier, Conservationist, Switzerland
  66. Erik Meijaard, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Indonesia
  67. Stefan Michel, IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group, Germany
  68. Charudutt Mishra, Science & Conservation Director, Snow Leopard Trust, India
  69. Nick Mitchell, Eastern African Coordinator, Range Wide Conservation Program for Cheetah and African Wild Dogs, Tanzania
  70. Mike Moser, International Adviser to conservation projects in Iran (1999-2018),  UK
  71. Harriet Mostert-Davies, Head of Conservation, Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa
  72. Shirin Mukhametkadyr Kyzy, Ilbirs Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
  73. Shomita Mukherjee, Principal Scientist, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History, India
  74. Hemmo Muntingh, Co-Founder, Foundation Future for Nature – Honorary member of European Parliament, The Netherlands
  75. John Newby, Chief Executive Officer, Sahara Conservation Fund, Switzerland
  76. Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Marine Conservation Ecologist, Italy
  77. Carlos Olavarria, Executive Director, Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Áridas, Chile
  78. Anna Oposa, Save Philippine Seas, The Philippines
  79. Mikhail Paltsyn, Conservation Biologist, International Consultant for UNDP,  Russia
  80. Danni Parks, Director, Whitley Fund for Nature, UK
  81. Jean-Marie Pericard, DVM, VETO FAUNE, France
  82. Rinzin Phunjok Lama, Conservation Biologist, Global Primate Network, Nepal
  83. Malini Pittet, Conservationist, Switzerland
  84. Andrew J. Plumptre, Head, BirdLife International Key Biodiversity Area Secretariat, UK
  85. Ioan-Mihai Pop, Conservationist, IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Romania *
  86. Annatjie du Preez, Project Coordinator, NACSO – Natural Resource Working Group, Namibia
  87. Michael Proctor, Deputy Chair, IUCN/SSC Bear Specialist Group, Canada
  88. Chris Ransom, Head of Africa Programmes, Zoological Society of London, UK
  89. Hana Raza, Project Manager, Nature Iraq, Iraq
  90. Randall Reeves, Chair – Professor, IUCN/SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, Canada
  91. Philip Riordan, Head of Conservation Biology, Marwell Wildlife, UK *
  92. Alfredo Romero-Muñoz, Co-Founder, Fundacion Cohabitar, Bolivia
  93. Tatjana Rosen, Conservationist, Ilbirs Foundation, Kyrgyzstan
  94. Christof Schenck, Executive Director, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Germany
  95. Jan Schipper, Field Conservation Research Director, Phoenix Zoo, USA
  96. Christoph Schwitzer, Chief Zoological Officer, Bristol Zoological Society, UK *
  97. Angela Scott, Author & Wildlife Photographer, UK – Kenya
  98. Jonathan Scott, Author & Wildlife Photographer, UK – Kenya
  99. Derek Scott, Conservationist, Ornithological consultant, Head of the Ornithology Unit at the Iran Department of Environment from October 1970 to March 1976, UK *
  100. Justine Shanti Alexander, Snow Leopard Trust, Mongolia
  101. Rohit Singh, President, Rangers Federation Asia, India
  102. Alex Sliwa, Curator – EAZA Felid TAG Chair, Cologne Zoo, Germany
  103. Alaaedin Soultan, Wildlife Conservationist, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Egypt *
  104. Rob Steinmetz, Ecologist, WWF-Thailand, Thailand
  105. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, Country Director – Snow Leopard Trust, Scientist – Nature Conservation Foundation, India
  106. Anne Kent Taylor, Conservationist, Anne Kent Taylor Foundation, Kenya *
  107. Thomas Tennhardt, Vice President, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU),  Germany
  108. Jean Thomas, Tenkile Conservation Alliance, Papua New Guinea
  109. Jim Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Tenkile Conservation Alliance, Papua New Guinea
  110. Olaf Tschimpke, President, Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), Germany
  111. Martin Tyson, Technical Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society-Asia, Malaysia
  112. Lucero Vaca, Wildlife Conservation Network scholar, Mexico
  113. Jonathan Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Malawi *
  114. Pedro Vaz Pinto, Managing Director, Kissama Foundation, Angola
  115. Wouter Veening, Chairman – President, Institute for Environmental Security, The Netherlands
  116. Xime Velez Liendo, Conservationist, Museo Historia Natural Alcides D’Orbygni, Bolivia
  117. Gabriela Vigo Trauco, Coordinator, Tambopata Macaw Project, Peru
  118. Jed Weingarten, Conservationist, China
  119. Wietse van der Werf, Executive Director, Sea Ranger Service, The Netherlands
  120. Sue Wilson, Tara Seal Research, UK
  121. Pavel Weinberg, Leading Researcher, North Ossetian State Nature Reserve, Russia
  122. Dana Yermolyonok, Conservationist, Center for Introduction of New Environmentally Safe Technologies, Kazakhstan *
  123. Diego Zarrate, Charry Researcher Pro-CAT Internacional, Colombia
Countries in which the original signatories to this letter are based (21 Nov 2018)

Number of signatories at the time the letter was sent to Iranian authorities on 21 November 2018 (see map): 337 signatories from 66 countries

Total number of signatories: 371 signatories from 73 countries

* Signatures added after the letter’s release to Iranian authorities on 21 November 2018.