An Innovative National Insurance Model to Mitigate the Livestock–Leopard Conflicts in Iran

  • Arezoo SaneiEmail author
  • Ali Teimouri
  • Reza Asadi Ahmad Abad
  • Shabnam Saeida
  • Saeid Taheri


Even though the Persian leopard Panthera pardus saxicolor is an endangered subspecies with the main population inhabiting in Iran (Khorozyan and Abramov, Zool Middle East 41:11–24, 2007; Kiabi et al., Zool Middle East 26(1):41–47, 2002), earlier studies (Sanei et al., Assessment of the Persian leopard mortality rate in Iran. In: Proceedings from UMT 11th International Annual Symposium on Sustainability Science and Management (pp. 1458–1462, 2012). Terengganu, Malaysia: Universiti Malaysia Terengganu) demonstrated that the majority of leopard mortalities are recorded to be as a result of intentional hunting, revenge killing, and poisoning of the specimens. To mitigate livestock–carnivore conflicts and reduce the subsequent revenge killings, an innovative model including a medium and a long-term insurance schemes together with awareness raising, trust building, and participatory conservation strategies is designed. Accordingly, the medium term insurance scheme addresses three main subjects of (1) improving conservation practices in the areas of leopard mortality hot spots, (2) medical payments and wergild for possible human injuries/maim/death because of human–leopard conflicts and (3) recompensing livestock depredation. Also, since the wolf Canis lupus distribution is comparable with the leopard range in the country, because of conservation concerns, damages caused by wolf depredation are also planned to be recompensed partially in the first type (i.e. medium term) insurance scheme and fully recompensed in the long term (i.e. second type) insurance program. Introducing sessions about the relative regulations and instructions were conducted for provincial wildlife wardens and DoE staff who are well familiar with wildlife sign surveys and have a quick access to the habitats in each region. Subsequently, they took the responsibility for identification of wildlife species in livestock–carnivore conflicts. Improvements in husbandry practices, linking the payments to the acceptable husbandry enhancements and participation in reducing risk of damages by local people are some of the instructions considered in the model to improve the efficacy and outcomes. So far, Department of Environment of Iran together with a private insurance company has partially launched the short term insurance scheme since 2016 and launching other sections of this model is in progress.


Persian Leopard Insurance Scheme Livestock–carnivore conflict Husbandry practices Compensation program Iran Canis lupus Panthera pardus saxicolor Participatory conservation 



We would like to appreciate Mohamad Zahednia and Hamid Moeini because of their kind technical assistances in calculating the insurance premium. We thank Majid Safdari and Seyed Morteza Alavi because of their supports towards executing the medium term insurance scheme. Authors would like to acknowledge Hamid Reza Asgarian for coordinating sessions of discussions with insurance companies in the Department of Environment of Iran.


  1. Bagchi, S., & Mishra, C. (2006). Living with large carnivores: Predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Journal of Zoology, 268, 217–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bangs, E., & Shivik, J. (2001). Managing wolf conflict with livestock in the northwestern United States. Carnivore Damage Prevention News, 3, 2–5.Google Scholar
  3. Bazghandi, M., Bostan, Y., Sarhangzadeh, J., & Teimouri, A. (2020). A contingent valuation practice with respect to wildlife trafficking law enforcement in Iran (case study: Panthera pardus saxicolor). In A. Sanei (Ed.), Research and management practices for conservation of the Persian leopard in Iran. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Beeland, T. D. (2008). Information sources, beliefs and values of key stakeholder groups in Mexican gray wolf reintroduction. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida.Google Scholar
  5. Brosius, J. P., Tsing, A. L., & Zerner, C. (1998). Representing communities: Histories and politics of community-based natural resource management. Society and Natural Resources, 11, 157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bulte, E. H., & Rondeau, D. (2005). Why compensating wildlife damages may be bad for conservation. Journal of Wildlife Management, 69(1), 14–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caplow, S., Jagger, P., Lawlor, K., & Sills, E. (2011). Evaluating land use and livelihood impacts of early forest carbon projects: Lessons for learning about REDD+. Environmental Science & Policy, 14, 152–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chase Grey, J. N. (2011). Leopard population dynamics, trophy hunting and conservation in the Soutpansberg Mountains, South Africa (PhD thesis). Durham University, UK.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, T. W., & Munno, L. (2005). Mountain lion management: Resolving public conflict. In T. W. Clark, M. B. Rutherford, & D. Casey (Eds.), Coexisting with large carnivores: Lessons from greater Yellowstone (pp. 71–98). Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  10. Dickman, A. J., Macdonald, E. A., & Macdonald, D. W. (2011). A review of financial instruments to pay for predator conservation and encourage human – Carnivore coexistence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 108(34), 13937–13944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ferraro, P. J., & Simpson, R. D. (2002). The cost-effectiveness of conservation payments. Land Economics, 78, 339–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Galvin, K. A. (2009). Transitions: Pastoralists living with change. Annual Review of Anthropology, 38, 185–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grassman, L. I. J. (1999). Ecology and behavior of the Indochinese leopard in Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society, 47, 77–93.Google Scholar
  14. Khorozyan, I. G., & Abramov, A. V. (2007). The leopard, Panthera pardus, (Carnivora: Felidae) and its resilience to human pressure in the Caucasus. Zoology in the Middle East, 41, 11–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kiabi, B. H., Dareshouri, B. F., Ghaemi, R. A., & Jahanshahi, M. (2002). Population status of the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor Pocock, 1927) in Iran. Zoology in the Middle East, 26(1), 41–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lee, T. (2011). A review of compensation programs for livestock in southwestern Alberta. Calgary, AB: Miistakis Institute.Google Scholar
  17. Lichtenfeld, L. L. (2007). Representing local communities in lion conservation. African News, 7, 44–46.Google Scholar
  18. Lin, J. (2005). Tackling Southeast Asia’s illegal wildlife trade. Sybil, 9, 191.Google Scholar
  19. Marker, L. L., & Dickman, A. J. (2005). Factors affecting leopard (Panthera pardus) spatial ecology, with particular reference to Namibian farmlands. South African Journal of Wildlife Research, 35, 105–115.Google Scholar
  20. Marker, L. L., Dickman, A. J., & Macdonald, D. W. (2005). Perceived effectiveness of livestock-guarding dogs placed on Namibian farms. Rangeland Ecology and Management, 58, 329–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer, D. M. (2001). Communities, contests and power structures. A comparative study of tourism development on Rugen (Germany) and the Isle of Wight (UK) in light of community participation theories (PhD Thesis). University of North London, London.Google Scholar
  22. Mishra, C., Allen, P., McCarthy, T., Madhusudan, M. D., Bayarjargal, A., & Prins, H. H. (2003). The role of incentive programs in conserving the snow leopard. Conservation Biology, 17, 1512–1520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mwebi, O. (2007). Herding efficiency as a factor in the human-carnivore conflict in Kenya: A comparative study of the Laikipa and Mbirikani Group Ranches (Master’s thesis). Osteology Section, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya.Google Scholar
  24. Nelson, F. (2009). Developing payments for ecosystem service approaches to carnivore conservation. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 14, 381–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ngoc, A. C., & Wyatt, T. (2013). A green criminological exploration of illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam. Asian Journal of Criminology, 8(2), 129–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nistler, C. (2007). Seeing spots: The return of the jaguar. PERC Reports, 25, 10–14.Google Scholar
  27. Nowell, K., & Jackson, P. (1996). Wild cats. Status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.Google Scholar
  28. Nyhus, P. J., & Tilson, R. (2004). Characterizing human–tiger conflict in Sumatra, Indonesia: Implications for conservation. Oryx, 38, 68–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sanei, A., Mousavi, M., Kiabi, B. H., Masoud, M. R., Gord Mardi, E., Mohamadi, H., … Raeesi, T. (2016). Status assessment of the Persian leopard in Iran. Cat News Special Issue, 10, 43–50.Google Scholar
  30. Sanei, A. (2016). Persian leopard national conservation and management action plan in Iran. Tehran, Iran: Department of Environment of Iran.Google Scholar
  31. Sanei, A. (2020). Novel classification of natural and socioeconomic characteristics for the Persian Leopard Research and Conservation Programs. In A. Sanei (Ed.), Research and management practices for conservation of the Persian leopard in Iran. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Sanei, A., Mohamadi, H., Hermidas, S., & Asgarian, H. R. (2020). A king for the mountainous landscapes: An overview to the cultural significance and conservation requirements of the Persian leopard in Iran. In A. Sanei (Ed.), Research and management practices for conservation of the Persian leopard in Iran. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  33. Sanei, A., Mousavi, M., Mousivand, M., & Zakaria, M. (2012). Assessment of the Persian leopard mortality rate in Iran. In Proceedings from UMT 11th International Annual Symposium on Sustainability Science and Management (pp. 1458–1462). Terengganu, Malaysia: Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.Google Scholar
  34. Sanei, A., Teimouri, A., Ahmadi Fard, G., Asgarian, H. R., & Alikhani, M. (2020). Introduction to the Persian Leopard National Conservation and Management Action Plan in Iran. In A. Sanei (Ed.), Research and management practices for conservation of the Persian leopard in Iran. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  35. Sanei, A., & Zakaria, M. (2011a). Survival of the Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) in Iran: Primary threats and human-leopard conflicts. Asia Life Sciences Supplement, 7, 31–39.Google Scholar
  36. Sanei, A., & Zakaria, M. (2011b). Impacts of human disturbances on the habitat use by the Malayan panther in a fragmented secondary forest, Malaysia. Asia Life Sciences, 7, 57–72.Google Scholar
  37. Sims, E., & Dawydiak, O. (1990). Livestock protection dogs: Selection, care and training. Centreville, VA: OTR Publications.Google Scholar
  38. Squires, V. R. (2012). Rangeland stewardship in Central Asia: Balancing livelihoods, biodiversity conservation and land protection. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tilson, R., Nyhus, P., Jackson, P., Quigley, H., Hornocker, M., Ginsberg, J., … Seidensticker, J. (2000). Securing a future for the world’s wild tigers. Washington, DC: Save The Tiger Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Tsing, A. L., Brosius, J. P., & Zerner, C. (1999). Assessing community-based natural resource management. Ambio, 28(2), 197–198.Google Scholar
  41. Woodroffe, R., Frank, L. G., Lindsey, P. A., Ole Ranah, S. M. K., & Romañach, S. (2007). Livestock husbandry as a tool for carnivore conservation in Africa’s community rangelands: A case control study. Biodiversity and Conservation, 16, 1245–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wyatt, T. (2013). Wildlife trafficking: A deconstruction of the crime, the victims, and the offenders. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zabel, A., & Holm-Müller, K. (2008). Conservation performance payments for carnivore conservation in Sweden. Conservation Biology, 22, 247–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zabel, A., & Roe, B. (2009). Performance payments for environmental services: Lessons from economic theory on the strength of incentives in the presence of performance risk and performance measure distortion. Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED) Working Paper 7. IED, Zurich, Switzerland.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arezoo Sanei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ali Teimouri
    • 2
  • Reza Asadi Ahmad Abad
    • 3
  • Shabnam Saeida
    • 4
  • Saeid Taheri
    • 4
  1. 1.Asian Leopard Specialist SocietyTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of EnvironmentConservation, Hunting and Fishing Management General OfficeTehranIran
  3. 3.Shahr Insurance CompanyTehranIran
  4. 4.MA Insurance CompanyTehranIran

Personalised recommendations