JICA Expert Team is now supporting to enhance the Guard Stations function of Department of Environment (DOE) in protected areas in Anzali Wetland. All of hunting activities are prohibited in this winter. Nevertheless, there are still many illegal hunting activities in Anzali Wetland. DOE asked JICA Expert Team to support to detect illegal hunting sites by using multi-copter.

Mr.Watanabe, who is wetland ecosystem conservation expert of JET, Mr.Akibaripour, who is chief commander of guard of DOE, and guards of Selkeh Wildlife Refuge implemented a joint illegal hunting patrol of Selkeh Wildlife Refuge and Sorkhankol Wildlife Refuge by using multi-copter on 20th Feb.

The multi-copter detected several illegal hunting sites including two illegal hunting sites with many mist-nets and cottage in Reedbed within 1 km from the Selkeh Wildlife Refuge Guard Station. JET immediately asked DOE guards to control and remove the mist-nets and cottage based on the coordinates detected by multi-copter.

One of the main reason, that Anzali Wetland was listed in the Montreux Record of Ramsar Convention, was excessive hunting. Thus, the control of illegal hunting is very important.

In addition, an article “Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25139)” of “Nature” which is ranked the world’s most cited scientific journal was published on 11th January, 2018. An international team of scientists and conservation experts led by Dr. Amano analyzed over 2.4 million annual count records of 461 water bird species across almost 26,000 different survey sites around the world. The paper mentioned that declines were especially pronounced in western and central Asia including Iran for waterfowl, cranes and rails in the world. They described that numerous water bird species are under severe hunting pressure in Iran.

JET is planning to implement more multi-copter patrol with DOE for the other areas in Anzali Wetland. In addition, JET continues to enhance the DOE guard station function in order to reduce the illegal hunting.