A Contingent Valuation Practice with Respect to Wildlife Trafficking Law Enforcement in Iran (Case Study: Panthera pardus saxicolor)

  • Maliheh Bazghandi
  • Yadollah Bostan
  • Jalil Sarhangzadeh
  • Ali Teimouri


Even though wildlife trafficking is considered as a serious wildlife threat worldwide, no concrete studies have been done so far on the severity of the illegal trade of the Iranian large carnivores. However, for the purpose of law enforcement aimed at prohibiting illegal trade of the specimens, readily recognizable part or derivate thereof, determination of conservation values of the target species is required. As such, an article in the first phase of the Persian Leopard National Conservation and Management Action Plan is dedicated to the relative valuation practices. Relatively, this study is to estimate Willingness to Pay (WTP) for leopard conservation in Iran and assessing the relative parameters according to a specialist conservation target group consisted of experts and staff of the Department of Environment across the leopard range in Iran. Subsequently, a study was conducted from May 2016 to February 2017 using contingent valuation method by applying dichotomous choice and two-dimensional questionnaires. In this regard, a total of 339 questionnaires were distributed among the target group across all provinces of Iran. The results demonstrated that WTP parameter was positive in 73% of the respondents. Yet, following by 1% increase in BID (maximum accepted proposed value), the probability of payment for leopard conservation is reduced up to 0.285%. According to the Logit model and maximum likelihood method and considering the sampling population (i.e., staff of the Department of Environment), the average WTP for annual leopard conservation is 136,263.5 IRR/per person equivalent to the annual total value of 887,893,454.9 IRR for the entire sampling population. The most important effective variables in this study include income and willingness to be a volunteer in non-governmental organizations. Conducting this research, the authors believe that conservation value of the Persian leopard is best evaluated only if a wide range of parameters and various sampling groups are involved in the assessment processes. Yet, the findings in this study suggest that the current penalty for illegal hunting of the leopards in Iran is less than the assessed value of WTP for leopard conservation as much as 87,893,454 IRR. Thus, results of this research could be used for the purpose of establishing appropriate penalties for illegal hunting and poisoning of the specimens as well as relative law enforcements concerning the cases of illegal trade.


Panthera pardus saxicolor Conservation valuation Wildlife trafficking Contingent Valuation Method Willingness to Pay Iran 



The authors would like to express appreciation to the Hunting and Fishing Conservation and Management General Office of the Department of Environment of Iran and Asian Leopard Specialist Society for cooperation in data collection. Our sincere appreciation to Dr. Arezoo Sanei for valuable consultant on selection of the research topic according to the Persian Leopard National Conservation and Management Action Plan, data collection methodology and preparation of the final manuscript. The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Ahmad Fatahi Ardakani for consultant regarding economy aspect of the research and Dr. Naghmeh Mobarghaee Dinan because of consultant on conservation valuation techniques. We appreciate statistical comments of Dr. Bahman Kiani and consultant of Dr. Ahad Setoudeh on the study. We would like to acknowledge the participants in questionnaire survey from all provinces of Iran. Special thanks to the following persons because of coordination of questionnaire survey in each province: Musavi and Firuzi (Markazi Province), Yusefi (West Azarbaijan Province), Mostafavi (Alborz Province), Darvishi (Boushehr Province), Asgari and Behzadian (East Azarbaijan Province), Jaafari and Gordmardi (North Khorasan Province), Dori (South Khorasan Province), Alvandi (Khuzestan Province), Gharcheh Lu (Zanjan Province), Adibi (Semnan Province), Rezaei and Derakhshani (Sistan and Balouchestan Province), Soleimani and Shabani (Fars Province), Reza-Zadeh, Amiri and Khosravi (Ghazvin Province), Riazi Far (Kordestan Province), Hashemi (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad Province), Kheir-Abadi (Golestan Province), Hadipour (Gilan Province), Babaei (Lorestan Province), Ahmadian (Tehran Province), Rabie (Mazandaran Province), Gudarzi and Shamoddini (Hormozgan Province), Zare (Yazd Province), Amiri (Esfahan Province), Amiri (Ilam Province), Homayuni and Abedi-Moghaddam (Ghom Province), Khalvandi (Kermanshah Province), Abdollahi (Hamedan Province), Hossein-Zadeh (Ardebil Province), and Ommat Mohamadi (Razavi Khorasan Province).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maliheh Bazghandi
    • 1
  • Yadollah Bostan
    • 2
  • Jalil Sarhangzadeh
    • 1
  • Ali Teimouri
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Natural Resources and Desert StudiesUniversity of YazdYazdIran
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsArdakan UniversityArdakanIran
  3. 3.Department of EnvironmentConservation, Hunting and Fishing Management General OfficeTehranIran

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