Hunters swear off killing to protect Iranian wildlife
This spring, 19 Iranian hunters have vowed to stop killing animals by breaking their rifles and setting fire to their traps in public. They hope that many more will soon join them in their effort to preserve Iran’s fragile wildlife from the ravages of over-hunting.
The hunters are responding to a plea made a month ago by an environmental group in Iranian Kurdistan, a region that’s home to many endangered species. The nonprofit organization Chya, which went out to meet with local hunters one-on-one to make their case, has long warned that many species are on the verge of extinction, and that hunting, both legal and illegal, is a major contributing factor.
For veteran hunter Hossein Ahmadi, the decision to destroy his equipment was an easy one, especially since he'd seen the impact of overhunting first-hand.
“I mostly hunted partridges, hares, wood pigeons and a few other local birds. But even then, I realize now, that what I did was damaging to our local wildlife. There are hardly any partridges left in this area. The nearby mountains used to be full of wild goats,” says Hossein.
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