Profiles of Jailed Conservationists

Houman Jowkar

Houman is a wildlife biologist and advocate of biodiversity conservation, with nearly 20 years of experience in conservation practice and research on different species and in different parts of Iran. Since his B.Sc. thesis on the status of the Asiatic cheetah in Iran, he has participated in numerous monitoring, exploration and applied conservation efforts for Asiatic cheetah and Persian leopard. Since 2001, Houman has been a member of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group for his work on saving Asiatic cheetahs.

Since 2012, he has been the National Project Manager of the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project (CACP), an international project established in 2001 based on a partnership between the Department of Environment of Iran and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aimed at saving the world’s last Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. You can read the final evaluation report of the project’s phase II during which Houman was the Project Manager here.

He taught ecotourism and bird biology at different educational institutions and was also engaged in other conservation projects in Iran, notably for example in participatory conservation efforts for sea turtles on Qeshm Island. The project was widely supported by the local communities, produced alternative livelihoods through ecotourism in the target villages, and resulted in saving hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings every year.

He is the scientific director of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF). PWHF no longer operates since the detentions and their website is no longer maintained, but you can visit their facebook page and see their last annual reports here. He is married to Sepideh Kashani.

► Houman Jowkar’s publications
  • Cheraghi, F., Delavar, M. R., Amiraslani, F., Alavipanah, K., Gurarie, E., Jowkar, H., … & Fagan, W. F. (2019). Inter-dependent movements of Asiatic Cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus venaticus and a Persian Leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in a desert environment in Iran (Mammalia: Felidae). Zoology in the Middle East, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2019.1632538
  • Khalatbari, L., Yusefi, G. H., Martinez-Freiria, F., Jowkar, H., & Brito, J. C. (2018). Availability of prey and natural habitats are related with temporal dynamics in range and habitat suitability for Asiatic Cheetah. Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, 29(1), 145-151. https://doi.org/10.4404/hystrix-00080- 2018
  • Mohammadi, A., Almasieh, K., Clevenger, A. P., Fatemizadeh, F., Rezaei, A., Jowkar, H., & Kaboli, M. (2018). Road expansion: A challenge to conservation of mammals, with particular emphasis on the endangered Asiatic cheetah in Iran. Journal for nature conservation, 43, 8-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2018.02.011
  • Ahmadi, M., Nezami Balouchi, B., Jowkar, H., Hemami, M. R., Fadakar, D., Malakouti‐Khah, S., & Ostrowski, S. (2017). Combining landscape suitability and habitat connectivity to conserve the last surviving population of cheetah in Asia. Diversity and Distributions, 23(6), 592-603. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ddi.12560
  • Durant, S.M., Mitchell, N., Groom, R., Pettorelli, N., Ipavec, A., Jacobson, A.P., … Jowkar, H., … & Young- Overton, K. (2017). The global decline of cheetah Acinonyx jubatus and what it means for conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(3), 528-533. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1611122114
  • Farhadinia, M. S., Hunter, L. T., Jourabchian, A., Hosseini-Zavarei, F., Akbari, H., Ziaie, H., … & Jowkar, H. (2017). The critically endangered Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx jubatus venaticus in Iran: a review of recent distribution, and conservation status. Biodiversity and Conservation, 26(5), 1027-1046. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-017-1298-8
  • Khalatbari, L., Jowkar, H., Yusefi, G.H., Brito, J.C., Ostrowski, S., (2017). The current status of Asiatic Cheetah in Iran. Cat News, 66, 10-14. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=693
  • Jowkar, H., Ostrowski, S., Tahbaz, M., & Zahler, P. (2016). The conservation of biodiversity in Iran: threats, challenges and hopes. Iranian Studies, 49(6), 1065-1077. https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2016.1241602
  • Charruau, P., Fernandes, C., Orozco‐Terwengel, P., Peters, J., Hunter, L., Ziaie, H., Jourabchian, A., Jowkar, H.,… & Vercammen, P. (2011). Phylogeography, genetic structure and population divergence time of cheetahs in Africa and Asia: evidence for long‐term geographic isolates. Molecular Ecology, 20(4), 706-724. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04986.x
  • Jowkar, H., Ostrowski, S., & Hunter, L. (2008). Asiatic cheetah cub recovered from a poacher in Iran. Cat News, 48, 13. https://bit.ly/2kM5cfd
  • Weisrock, D. W., Papenfuss, T. J., Macey, J. R., Litvinchuk, S. N., Polymeni, R., Ugurtas, I. H., Zhao, E., Jowkar, H. & Larson, A. (2006). A molecular assessment of phylogenetic relationships and lineage accumulation rates within the family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 41(2), 368-383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.008

Taher Ghadirian

Taher is a wildlife biologist by training and has been active in conservation projects in Iran since 2005. He has been instrumental in research and conservation efforts on a range of species from Asiatic black bears, Persian leopards and Asiatic cheetahs to migratory birds and rodents. A main focus of his work has been on human-carnivore conflict reduction outside protected areas in southern Iran. In 2009, he was awarded the UNESCO MAB Young Scientist Award for his work on conservation of mangrove forest bird species by involving local communities and controlling invasive species. He is one of the co-authors of The Atlas of Mammals of Iran. Moreover, he is a co-founder and managing editor of Pazan Quarterly Journal, Iran’s first mammalogy journal. Taher is also one of the co-assessors of the status of sand cat for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016 and a member of the IUCN Pallas’s cat working group since 2012 . In recent years, he has been promoting the establishment of community-based reserves in central and southern Iran, a concept that has been rarely implemented in the country. His work resulted in high levels of community engagement and establishment of a number of these reserves in the country, targeted at safeguarding the last habitats of the threatened Asiatic black bear or Laristan wild sheep. Taher is a member of the IUCN/SSC Bear and Cat Specialist Groups for his work on Asiatic black bears, Asiatic cheetahs, and Persian leopards among others.

► Taher Ghadirian’s publications (English &Farsi)
  • Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Zeppenfeld, T., Shokri, S., Soufi, M., Egli, L., Jafari, A., Ahmadpour, M., Qashqaei, A. Ghadirian, T. & Filla, M. (2019). Assessing the relationship between illegal hunting of ungulates, wild prey occurrence and livestock depredation rate by large carnivores. Journal of Applied Ecology, 56(2), 365-374. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13266
  • Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Zeppenfeld, T., Shokri, S., Soufi, M., Jafari, A., Ahmadpour, M., Qashqaei, A.T., Egli, L., Ghadirian, T. & Chahartaghi, N. R. (2018). Livestock grazing in protected areas and its effects on large mammals in the Hyrcanian forest, Iran. Biological Conservation, 217, 377-382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.11.020
  • Ghadirian, T., Qashqaei, A. T., Soofi, M., Abolghasemi, H., & Ghoddousi, A. (2017). Diet of Asiatic black bear in its westernmost distribution range, southern Iran. Ursus, 28(1), 15-20. https://doi.org/10.2192/URSU-D-16-00003.1
  • Ghadirian, T., Akbari, H., Besmeli, M. R., Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A. K., & Dehkordi, M. E. (2016). Sand cat in Iran-present status, distribution and conservation challenges. Cat News Special Issue, 10, 56-59. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=629
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., & Bani Asadi, S. (2016). The status of wildcat in Iran – a crossroad of subspecies. Cat News Special Issue, (10), 60-63. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=629
  • Sliwa, A., Ghadirian, T., Appel, A., Banfield, L., Sher Shah, M. & Wacher, T. 2016. Felis margarita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T8541A50651884. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T8541A50651884.en. Downloaded on 23/09/2019.
  • Tohidifar, M., Moser, M., Zehzad, B., & Ghadirian, T. (2016). Biodiversity of the Hyrcanian Forests. Synthesis report for the FRWO/ UNDP/GEF Caspian Hyrcanian Forests Project. https://bit.ly/2lW3kkf
  • Ohdachi, S. D., Kinoshita, G., Oda, S. I., Motokawa, M., Jogahara, T., Arai, S., …Ghadirian, T.,… & Zu Min, M. (2016). Intraspecific phylogeny of the house shrews, Suncus murinus-S. montanus species complex, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Mammal study, 41(4), 229-238. https://doi.org/10.3106/041.041.0408
  • Khayat, A. S., Otaghvar, Y. T., Tavakolimehr, S., Ghadirian, T., & Pishvaee, H. (2015). Asiatic Black Bear Conservation Taught in Bashagard Schools, Iran. International Bear News, 24(3), 14-15. https://bit.ly/2kA0D7I
  • Ghadirian, T., & Pishvaei, H. (2014). Status of Asiatic black bear in westernmost global distribution, Hormozgan Province, Southern Iran. Poster presented at the 23rd International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Thessaloniki, Greece, October 2014. https://bit.ly/2lW2Ryv
  • Ghadirian, T., Sedaghati Khayat, A., Talebi Otaghvar, Y., Ghoddousi, A., Pishvaei, H., Riazifar, A., Goudarzi, F., & Ghasemi, M. (2014). Strategic Conservation Planning for Asiatic Black Bears in Iran Based on IUCN Guidelines. International Bear News 23(1): 8-11. https://bit.ly/2mE8zFH
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., Soufi, M., Ghadirian, T., Jowkar, H., & Ashayeri, Sh. (2014). Camera trap study of Persian leopard in Golestan National Park, Iran. Cat News, 60, 12-14. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=592
  • Khakisahne, S., Alizadeh, S. A., Kaboli, M., Noori, Z., & Ghadirian, T. (2013). Habitat modeling for Afghan Pika (Ochotona rufescens) in Iran from a climatic perspective. Journal of Natural Environment (Iranian Journal of Natural Resources) 66(2): 169-180. https://bit.ly/2lOoJfq
  • Ghadirian, T., Qashqaei, A. T., Ghoddousi, A., Soufi, M., & Khayat, A. S. (2012). Diet and status assessment of Asiatic black bear in Hormozgan Province, Southern Iran. In International Conference on Bear Research and Management (Vol. 21, p. 43). https://bit.ly/2kJRXM4
  • Ghadirian, T., Mohamadi, S., Ashrafzadeh, M. R., Najafabadi, M. S., Shahi, T., & Khaleghi Hamidi, A. H. (2011). Distribution and taxonomic status of the eastern spiny mouse (Acomys dimidiatus) (Rodentia: Muridae) in Iran. Acta Zoologica Lituanica, 21(3), 244-249. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10043-011-0028-9
  • Ghadirian, T., Ghoddousi, A., Soufi, M., Qashqaei, A. T., & Ghasemi, M. (2011). Conservation needs for the Asiatic black bear at its westernmost extent: Hormozgan Province, Southern Iran. International Bear News, 20(3), 13-14. https://bit.ly/2mGTT8U
  • Faizolahi, K., Yusefi, Gh.H., Jamshidi, M., Ghadirian, T., Hamzehpour, M., Fahimi, H., Qashqaei, A.T., Chalani, M., Soofi, M., & Goljani, R. (2011). The Central Zagros Mammalian Fauna. Poster made in association with the Conservation of Biodiversity in the Central Zagros Landscape Conservation Zone/UNDP/GEF, January 2011. (Abstract here https://bit.ly/2lOPAbe)
  • Ghadirian, T., Karami, M. & Hemami, M.R. (2010). Estimation of black rat nest density and assessing related factors in nest selection in mangrove forests of Hara biosphere reserve (Hormozgan province). Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(4):649-657. (Abstract in English here: https://bit.ly/2kN91Rx)
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., & Khorozyan, I. (2010). The status of the endangered Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, Iran. Oryx, 44(4), 551-557. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605310000827
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A.,& Ghadirian, T. (2010). A flagship species based conservation program in the Middle East: Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) conservation in Bamu National Park, Southern Iran. 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology: Conservation for a Changing Planet. Edmonton, Canada, July 2010. (accessible through Google Scholar)
  • Ashrafzadeh, M. R., Karami, M., Darvish, J., Shahi, T., & Ghadirian, T. (2010). A study of intraspecies variations of Baluchistan Gerbil, Gerbillus Nanus Blanford, 1875 (Rodentia: Muridae) in Hormozgan Province, Iran. Journal of Taxonomy and Biosystematics 2(3): 11-24. https://bit.ly/2mirFBd
  • Ghoddousi, A., Ghadirian, T., & Fahimi, H. (2009). Status of caracal in Bahram’gur protected area, Iran. Cat News, 50, 10-13. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=185
  • Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A. K., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., & Qashqaei, A. T. (2008). Persian Leopard Project in Iran. Wildlife Middle East 3(3): 4. https://bit.ly/2khb4wR
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., Moshiri, H., & Khorozyan, I. (2008). The status of the Persian leopard in Bamu National Park, Iran. Cat News 49, 10-13. https://bit.ly/2meEts9
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., Ashayeri, D., Ghadirian, T., & Khorozyan, I. (2008). Research and conservation of the endangered Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran. 1st International Congress Documenting, Analyzing and Managing Biodiversity in the Middle East, Aqaba, Jordan, October 2008. https://bit.ly/2m4wBJF
  • Ghoddousi, A., Hamidi, A. K., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., Hamzehpour, M., Moshiri, H., … & Julayi, L. (2008). Territorial marking by the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) in Bamu National Park, Iran. Zoology in the Middle East, 44(1), 101-103. https://doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2008.10638293
  • Abdoli, A., Ghadirian, T., Khaleghi Hamidi, A., Mostafavi, H., Moshiri, H., Pour’salem, S., & Ghoddousi, A. (2008). First evidence of Persian leopard from Khaeez area, southern Iran. Cat News, 48, 17. https://bit.ly/2kKjL32
  • Chalani, M., Ghoddousi, A., Ghadirian, T., & Goljani, R. (2008). First Pallas’s Cat Photo-trapped in Khojir National Park, Iran. Cat News, 49(7). http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=184
  • Ghadirian, T. & Etezadifar, F. (2008). Breeding of spoonbill in mangrove forests of Hara biosphere reserve-Qeshm Island-Iran-2008. International Spoonbill Working Group Newsletter 6: 13-17. https://bit.ly/2lUohMq
  • Ghadirian, T., Qashqaei, A., & Dadras, M. (2007). Notes on feeding and breeding habits of the purple sunbird Nectarinia asiatica (Cinnyris asiaticus) in Bandar Abbas, Hormozgan, Southern Iran. Podoces, 2(2), 122-126. https://bit.ly/2kJwQti
  • بررسی وضعیت پستانداران در جنگل‌های هیرکانی. Ghadirian, T. & Raeesi Chahartaghi, N. (2016). Reviewing the status of mammals in Hyrcanian forests. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.36585.49763. https://bit.ly/2kBAplx
  • بررسی ویژگی های رفتاری خرس سیاه آسیایی (Ursus thibetanus Cuvier, 1823) در شهرستان بشاگرد به وسیله پایش لانه ها توسط دوربین تله ای. Pishvaei, H. & Ghadirian, T. (2014). Assessing behavioral characteristics of Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus Cuvier, 1823), in Bashagard region by monitoring dens using camera traps. https://bit.ly/2mf0181
  • برآورد تراکم لانه ها و عوامل موثر بر لانه گزینی موش سیاه (Rattus rattus) در جنگل های مانگرو ذخیره گاه زیست کره حرا Ghadirian, T., Karami, M. & Hemami, M.R. (2010). Estimation of black rat nest density and assessing related factors in nest selection in mangrove forests of Hara biosphere reserve (Hormozgan province). Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(4):649-657. https://bit.ly/2kN91Rx
  • برآورد تراکم لانه ها و عوامل موثر بر لانه گزینی موش سیاه (Rattus rattus) در جنگل های مانگرو ذخیره گاه زیست کره حرا Ghadirian, T., Karami, M. & Hemami, M.R. (2010). Estimation of black rat nest density and assessing related factors in nest selection in mangrove forests of Hara biosphere reserve (Hormozgan province). Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 14(4):649-657. https://bit.ly/2kN91Rx

Amirhossein Khaleghi Hamidi

Amirhossein is a wildlife conservationist, working mainly on large mammals in Iran. His passion for wildlife and nature made him leave his career path in software engineering to study Environmental Sciences Engineering and Natural Resources (B.Sc.). Since 2007, he has been working in many different research and conservation projects in Iran, including on Persian leopards in a number of Iranian national parks as well as in Iraq and on Asiatic cheetahs, also in collaboration with the Conservation of Asiatic Cheetah Project, mostly focusing on Touran National Park since 2009. His and colleague’s project on Persian leopard conservation was selected as the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group’s project of the month March 2008.

He has been striving to better connect local communities to conservation, a concept that has been vastly missing in Iran so far. These efforts resulted in collaborations between local communities, national parks, and conservation projects, particularly by providing alternative livelihoods for local poachers around Golestan National Park. His negotiations with livestock herders in Touran National Park, home to one of the last viable Asiatic cheetah populations, resulted in arrangements for relocation of their livestock corrals to the outside of protected areas, providing a safer habitat for the cheetah’s wild prey populations. To raise money to purchase the grazing rights from these herders, he had been one of two initiators of the Yuz ta Abad (“Cheetah Forever”) campaign. Between its start in August 2017 and Amirhossein’s detention in January 2018, the campaign had raised over 120 thousand Euros of private donations from fellow Iranians. The outcome of his negotiations and efforts were realized after his arrest and from July 2018, in agreement with the herders, all livestock was relocated from Touran National Park.

Since 2013, Amirhossein has been a member of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group for his excellent work on saving Asiatic cheetahs and Persian leopards. He is also a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. He cooperated with Nature Iraq NGO towards increased protection of leopard habitat corridors in Iraq and in negotiations towards the establishment of a Peace Park between Iran and Iraq. Recently, he was working as freelance conservationist while at the same time studying for a MSc. degree in Environmental Sciences at Islamic Azad University, Tehran.

► Amirhossein Khaleghi’s publications (English & Farsi)
  • Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ashayeri, Sh., Egli, L., Ghoddousi, S., Speicher, J., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., & Waltert, M. (2019). The decline of ungulate populations in Iranian protected areas calls for urgent action against poaching.Oryx 53(1):151-158. (Published online in 2017) https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060531600154X
  • Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ashayeri, Sh., Egli, L., Ghoddousi, S., Speicher, J., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., & Waltert, M. (2019). The decline of ungulate populations in Iranian protected areas calls for urgent action against poaching.Oryx 53(1):151-158. (Published online in 2017) https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060531600154X
  • Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Soufi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., & Waltert, M. (2017). Effects of shepherds and dogs on livestock depredation by leopards (Panthera pardus) in north-eastern Iran. PeerJ, 5, e3049. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3049
  • Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghasemi, B., Egli, L., Voinopol-Sassu, A. J., Kiabi, B., Balkenhohl, N., Khorozyan, I. & Waltert, M. (2017). Precision and reliability of indirect population assessments for the Caspian red deer Cervus elaphus maral. Wildlife Biology, 2017(17). DOI: 10.2981/wlb.00230 https://bit.ly/2kEs6oT
  • Ghadirian, T., Akbari, H., Besmeli, M. R., Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., & Dehkordi, M. E. (2016). Sand cat in Iran-present status, distribution and conservation challenges. Cat News Special, 10, 56-59. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=629
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., & Bani Asadi, S. (2016). The status of wildcat in Iran – a crossroad of subspecies. Cat News Special, (10), 60-63. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=629
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Soofi, M., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B. H., & Waltert, M. (2016). Effects of ranger stations on predator and prey distribution and abundance in an Iranian steppe landscape. Animal Conservation, 19(3), 273-280. DOI: 10.1111/acv.12240 https://bit.ly/2k7pDmy
  • Ghoddousi, A., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Lumetsberger, T., Egli, L., Khorozyan, I., Kiabi, B., & Waltert, M. (2016). Assessing the role of livestock in big cat prey choice using spatiotemporal availability patterns. PloS ONE, 11(4), e0153439. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153439 https://bit.ly/2kgjqF8
  • Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A. & Waltert, M. (2015). The relationship between climate, diseases of domestic animals and human-carnivore conflicts. Basic and Applied Ecology, 16(8), 703-713. DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2015.07.001 https://bit.ly/2lc3P9R
  • Khorozyan, I., Soofi, M., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., & Waltert, M. (2015). Dissatisfaction with veterinary services is associated with leopard (Panthera pardus) predation on domestic animals. PloS ONE, 10(6), e0129221. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0134886
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Anvari, K, & Rostaghi, R.A. (2014). Community involvement as the key solution for conservation in the Middle East: A case study in Golestan National Park in Iran. Electronic poster presented at the Sixth IUCN World Parks Congress, 12-19 November 2014, Sydney, Australia.
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., Soufi, M., Ghadirian, T., Jowkar, H., & Ashayeri, Sh. (2014). Camera trap study of Persian leopard in Golestan National Park, Iran. Cat News, 60, 12-14. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=592
  • Mousavi, M., Masoud, R., Moqanaki, E., & Kh. Hamidi, A. (2014). Conservation of the leopard in the Caucasus: Iran chapter. In: Workshop report on the International Experts Workshop “Conservation of the Leopard in the Caucasus”, October 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia. https://bit.ly/2kcBP5w
  • T. Mehr, Sh., Talebi, Y., Sedaghati Khayat, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Moshiri, H., & Ghoddousi, A. (2011). School kid saved a female leopard and her cub. Cat News, 55, 35. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=190
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., & Khorozyan, I. (2010). The status of the endangered Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor in Bamu National Park, Iran. Oryx, 44(4), 551-557. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605310000827
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A.,& Ghadirian, T. (2010). A flagship species based conservation program in the Middle East: Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) conservation in Bamu National Park, Southern Iran. 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology: Conservation for a Changing Planet. Edmonton, Canada, July 2010. (Accessible through Google Scholar)
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., Moshiri, H., & Khorozyan, I. (2008). The status of the Persian leopard in Bamu National Park, Iran. Cat News 49, 10-13. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=184
  • Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghoddousi, A., Ashayeri, D., Ghadirian, T., & Khorozyan, I. (2008). Research and conservation of the endangered Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran. 1st International Congress Documenting, Analyzing and Managing Biodiversity in the Middle East, Aqaba, Jordan, October 2008. https://bit.ly/2m4wBJF
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., Hamzehpour, M., Moshiri, H., Zohrabi, H. & Julayi, L. (2008). Territorial marking by the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) in Bamu National Park, Iran. Zoology in the Middle East, 44(1), 101-103. https://doi.org/10.1080/09397140.2008.10638293
  • Ghoddousi, A., Kh. Hamidi, A., Ghadirian, T., Ashayeri, D., & Qashqaei, A.T. (2008). Persian Leopard Project in Iran. Wildlife Middle East, 3(3), 4. https://bit.ly/2kK9ynm
  • Abdoli, A., Ghadirian, T., Khaleghi Hamidi, A., Mostafavi, H., Moshiri, H., Pour’salem, S., & Ghoddousi, A. (2008). First evidence of Persian leopard from Khaeez area, southern Iran. Cat News, 48, 17. http://www.catsg.org/index.php?id=183
  • بررسی حداقل اندازه جمعیت یوزپلنگ آسیایی (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) با استفاده از دوربین های تله ای در پارک ملی کویر Ghadirian, T., Dehkordi, M.E., Kh. Hamidi, A., & Moqanaki, E. (2010). Final Report on the Determination of the Minimum Asiatic Cheetah Population in Kavir National Park using Camera Traps. https://bit.ly/2lIczVo

Sepideh Kashani

Sepideh (Sepideh Kashani Doust) holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Planning from Azad University and she has been the backbone for operation in PWHF for over ten years. She has been involved in the NGO’s general administration and in coordinating projects. Therefore, many achievements by PWHF in research, conservation impact, community work, education and awareness raising are based on her indispensable contribution, even though she is not credited for them in public reports or papers. One of the larger projects under her lead was the project “Conservation of the natural values of Hengam Island” for the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Persian Gulf. It was financed by the Small Grants Programme, a programme of the Global Environment Facility implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/GEF/SGP) and was conducted with the help of the Office for Environment of Qeshm Free Zone Organization. In order to reduce pressure on bottlenose dolphins caused by unorganized tourism activities, PWHF and a local partner NGO held several workshops with boat drivers in five villages, teaching best dolphin watching practices. Educational material and the dolphin watching protocol were provided, after summarizing past experiences. She also coordinated the project “National Ungulates Monitoring Techniques Assessment Project (NUMP)”, a project aimed to set standards for ungulate population survey methods in Iran. Amirhossein and Taher were also members of this project. The mid-term project report can be found here. She is married to Houman Jowkar.

► Sepideh Kashani’s publications
  • Sepideh Kashani, Amirhossein Khaleghi, Taher Ghadirian, Hamed Abolghassemi, Mahmood Soofi, Arash Ghoddousi, Lukas Egli (2015). Standard-setting for Ungulate Population Survey Methods in Iran. Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation Newsletter 5(10): 2. https://bit.ly/2mtSa6H

Morad Tahbaz

Morad Tahbaz, an environmentalist and businessman, holds a degree in Liberal Arts from Colgate University and an MBA from Columbia University. He has been passionate about wildlife and nature since childhood and is a regular donor to many international conservation foundations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Cat Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In 2008, he co-founded the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) in Iran and is a member of the Board of Directors. In 2010, he founded and is the director of the Persian Wildlife Foundation in Connecticut, USA. His initial focus on the conservation of Iran’s biodiversity has broadened to try and find solutions to the country’s broader environmental challenges. As part of his endeavor for Iran’s environment, he held a round table on “wildlife and ecology in today’s Iran: challenges and prospects” at the 10th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference in Montreal in 2014 and gave lectures on Iran’s natural environment at the University of California.

► Morad Tahbaz’s publications

Niloufar Bayani

Niloufar holds a BSc in Biology from McGill University in Montreal and an MSc. in Conservation Biology from Columbia University in New York, where she went on to teach after finishing her studies. Her focus at the time was mostly on coastal ecosystems, and she conducted her MSc. thesis at the Glover’s Reef Atoll World Heritage area in Belize. From May 2012 to May 2017, she worked as a project consultant for the United Nations Environment Program’s Post Conflict and Disaster Management Branch in Geneva where she was a team member of the European Commission and UNEP-collaboration project (2012-2016) for Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (ECO-DDR). As an example of her work, she and colleagues from UNEP helped the Ministry of Environment of Haiti in the identification and evaluation of necessary steps after cyclone Mathieu in 2016. She gave some assistance to the Persian Wildlife Foundation, for example joining Morad Tahbaz at the round table on “wildlife and ecology in today’s Iran: challenges and prospects” at the 10th Biennial Iranian Studies Conference in Montreal. In summer 2017, she returned home to Tehran and started with enthusiasm to work as Programme Manager with PWHF. You can also visit www.niloufarbayani.com.

► Niloufar Bayani’s publications
  • Co-editor of and contributor to a special issue of Iranian Studies on “Environment and Culture” (2016): https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2016.1241563
  • UNEP. (2016). River Partners: Applying Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) in the Lukaya Basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (“Prepared by the Eco-DRR Project Team for DRC: Niloufar Bayani, Céline Jacmain, Marisol Estrella and Hassan Partow”, available under https://bit.ly/2mi2I8Y)
  • UNEP. (2016). Coastal Partners: Applying ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR) through a ridge-to-reef approach in Port Salut, Haiti. (“Prepared by the Eco-DRR Project Team for Haiti: Niloufar Bayani, Marisol Estrella, Maximilien Pardo, Dario Noel, Peleg Charles, Jean Elie Thys, Paul Judex Edourzin, Adrienne Stork, Antonio Perera”, available under https://bit.ly/2ksIQiO)
  • UNEP. (2016). Mountain Partners: Applying Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) for sustainable and resilient development planning in the Koh-e Baba Mountains, Afghanistan. (Prepared by the Eco-DRR Project Team for Afghanistan: Niloufar Bayani, Andrew Scanlon, Marisol Estrella, Alec Knuerr, Najeeb Azad, Mohammad Sakhi Hassany, Kelly Franklin”, available under https://bit.ly/2kYz0Wf)
  • Bayani, N. (2016). Ecology and environmental challenges of the Persian Gulf. Iranian Studies, 49(6), 1047-1063. https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2016.1241569
  • Bayani, N., & Barthélemy, Y. (2016). Integrating Ecosystems in Risk Assessments: Lessons from Applying InVEST Models in Data-Deficient Countries. In Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation in Practice (pp. 227-254). Springer, Cham. https://bit.ly/2mgwo6n
  • Bayani, N. (2015): Case study 4 Integrating ecosystems in analysing exposure to coastal hazards. In: Promoting ecosystems for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation: Opportunities for integration. UNEP discussion paper. https://bit.ly/2lWtHXh
  • Bayani, N., Bone, E., McClennen, C., & Paris, C. (2012). Effects of changing coral cover on reef fish recruitment in the Caribbean. Poster presented at the Student Conference on Conservation Science, New York, USA, 10-12 OCTOBER 2012. (Abstract at https://bit.ly/2lRMy5V)


Sam Radjabi

Sam (Sam Radjabi Tabriz) holds a M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Victoria, New Zealand. His father, Parviz Radjabi was a famous Iranian historian and author. Sam worked with PWHF from its beginnings, but left the NGO a few years ago to work for the Department of Environment (DoE) in an Iranian-Japanese cooperation project towards improving coastal management along the Persian Gulf. He is a field biologist and ecotourism specialist and has translated many books. As part of his work with the DoE and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, he was one of ~90 participants of the “Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Development and the Sustainable Development Goals: sharing and developing workable solutions” Workshop cohosted by the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the International Institute for Environment and Development and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity on 11th December 2016 in Mexico. A member of the NBSAP Forum, a global partnership aiming to support the revision and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs), he assisted in the development of the NBSAP submitted for Zambia in 2015 (see here). In October 2017, he was a keynote speaker on “Literature and Tourism” at the Symposium “Environment Alpine Regions – Cultural, botanical, ethnological and touristic aspects of alpine life in Austria and in Iran”, organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum and Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran.

► Sam Radjabi’s publications
  • Sam Radjabi Tabriz (2010). Heteroblasty in mataī, a quantitative analysis. Poster presented at the New Zealand Ecological Society Conference, 22-25 November 2010, Dunedin. https://bit.ly/2m3bbN5

Abdolreza Koupayeh

Abdolreza (Abu) was born in Shiraz and grew up in Sirjan, in the south of Iran. He then studied and worked in Kerman, Isfahan, Tehran, Asaluyeh and Bandar Abbas. He studied electronic and telecommunication engineering, but despite being accepted for continuing his master, he decided to follow his dreams. Since then, Abu has been travelling inside and outside Iran including on foot and by bicycle. During these trips, he fell in love with nature. He tries his best to contribute to the protection of nature and wildlife with photography, through his website (in restoration) and facebook page and a guide he wrote (in Farsi) on eco-friendly living (no trace). Apart from generously letting PWHF staff stay at his place in Bandar Abbas, he also contributed to one of the field trips of the Laristan Wild Sheep Conservation Project and took pictures and videos.

► Abdolreza Koupayeh’s work in Farsi
  • سایت اینترنتی عبدالرضا کوهپایه (در حال ترمیم): http://www.deepbreath.ir
  • اصول طبیعت گردی پاک. از عبدالرضا کوهپایه Principles for eco-friendly living (no trace) by Abdolreza Koupayeh: https://bit.ly/2lvyJds