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Water Management in Larestan Wild Sheep Habitat
Water Management in Larestan Wild Sheep Habitat

Following water crisis in Southern Iran, the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation (PWHF) had initiate a program with the help of local community members to manage water resources in one of the habitats of Larestan wild sheep in Hormozgan Province since a year ago. Drowning of several wild sheep in traditional eater reservoirs of local communities and of a Persian leopard in June of this year prompted us to expedite efforts to provide water sources for the wildlife in an area in which we already had an ongoing project. The PWHF organized a fund-raising campaign called “save the thirsty wildlife” and in a matter of few weeks managed to reach its goal of Rials 400,000,000 thanks to generous donations by nature-loving citizens.

This is our second report about our activities to save the wildlife from water shortages in Kuhsefid, Kuh-e Zir, and Kuh-e Champeh n Hormozgan Province.

In the months of July and August water tanks were transported to some suitable locations and were installed and filled with water in Champeh and Dareh Sefid. Several natural springs that no longer had proper sources to let water collect for wildlife were cleaned of mud and restored. Also, some dams to collect rain water were constructed by local villagers with financial assistance of the PWHF. PWHF experts and volunteers by organizing people from various villages and providing funds succeeded in attracting notable participation on the part of local communities in wildlife conservation. This community-based approach not only helps safeguard and improve wildlife habitats, but also serves as most effective means of educating local people about the values of their surrounding nature and its precious inhabitants and how they can be preserved. Most construction activities had to be done at night, as day temperatures were unbearably hot.

During their latest field trip to the region from August 31 to September 3, our experts had the following achievements with the help of local aides and volunteers: building of Sarun water reservoir in Champeh, refilling of Daresefid water tank, locating sites for new water tanks and watering troughs, visiting cleansed and restored natural springs and a dam built by Kukherd village team, and visiting Pargan Nature Institute of Jenah to see their activities. Our experts organized various meetings with local groups of people in which our joint activities were reviewed and achievements, problems, shortcomings, potential opportunities, and future programs were discussed in detail. Fortunately, after our team left the region, there was a good rainfall and some of our reservoirs were filled.

We came to the conclusion that one of our major tasks for water management should be to repair and restore the traditional reservoirs in order to collect rainwater for next year’s hot season. We also jointly planned the following tasks for the following months: cleaning and restoration of the largest reservoir in the area (which will solve Champeh’s water shortage for next year if enough rainwater is collected), repairing and providing exit platforms for natural waterholes which trap wildlife when the water level is too low, hardening and waterproofing the bedding of the reservoir behind small Kuh-e Zir dam in Kukherd, locating sites and installing new tanks, and building small dams to collect water.

It was made clear during this trip that the costliest part of our work is to transport building material and equipment and water across mountainous roads. Renting 4-wheel trucks and tractors to do the job is quite expensive relative to our other expenses such as labor and building material. Hence, if we can purchase a 4-wheel truck for this project we will save a considerable amount of money as well as time. It has often been the case that we needed transportation but trucks or tractors were busy elsewhere and could not come to our site for several days.