Goal: Thank the UN for helping Iran save the Asiatic cheetah
Target: John W. Ashe, President of the UN
Right now, there are less than 100 Asiatic cheetahs in Iran. The country has a history of critically endangered species and has already lost the Asiatic lion and Caspian tiger to extinction. The cheetah has been endangered for a while — in the 1990s, there were only 400 cats roaming around. However, now, there are only 50 to 70 Asiatic cheetahs.
There are three main threats to the Asiatic cheetah. The first is poaching. Almost anytime large game animals and humans are competing for the same resources, poaching occurs. The Asiatic cheetah is actually much more tame than other large cats, but shepherds do not see it that way. Also, the exotic illegal pet trade has generated demand for the Asiatic cheetah, and so some are shipped to places where they cannot reproduce.
Another reason these cats are in danger is the fact that in the 1970s, during the Iranian Revolution, it became legal to hunt many of the cheetah’s natural prey species. Now hunting is regulated again, but a many of people still hunt their prey. Asiatic cheetahs are also endangered because of habitat loss, a threat facing many critically endangered animals. Humans are taking over and developing land that was once cheetah habitat.
Iran does not want to lose another large cat, and so is taking steps to prevent another extinction. The country is receiving help from the United Nations, which in cases of animal conservation can do quite a bit of good. The UN created CACP — the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project. From 2001 to 2008, they were working on Phase I of CACP, which included making safe zones for cheetahs and hiring guards to make sure that they were not killed. The program also educated Iranians about the Asiatic cheetah and tried to increase the species’ cultural significance.
We now want to applaud the UN’s work, as they are in the midst of Phase II. They are creating financially stable conservation centers within the country, and creating job opportunities that would reduce poverty and increase the cheetah population. Please join us in thanking the UN for this important conservation work.
Dear President Ashe,
We want to thank you for all the work the UN has done to help save the Asiatic cheetah. It is always horrible to see the extinction of wild animals become a side effect of development. It is great how the CACP’s Phase II has created room for both people and animals.
While it is working to regrow the Asiatic cheetah population in Iran, CACP is also helping to reduce poverty by creating jobs that would help to preserve the cheetah. Instead of just going in and creating safe zones and then leaving, you are creating a sustainable plan for the future that benefits all parties. For that, we want to thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Raul Gonzalez Molina via Wikimedia Commons