The Arabian oryx, a type of desert-loving antelope, is one of over 100 species that will gain new conservation protections in Iraq. That’s because the Republic of Iraq will soon become the 180th country to join the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, according to an announcement made by the CITES Secretariat.
The Persian fallow deer is a rare species of deer only found in some parts of Iraq, Iran, Khuzestan and northern Israel. The giant horns of males will have less chance of winding up over someone’s fireplace, since CITES — an international agreement between governments — safeguards against worldwide trade in specimens of wild animals and plants.
Golden jackals are wild canines related to wolves and dogs. In addition to Iraq, they live in parts of Africa, Asia and southern Europe. The good news, according to CITES, is that the population of these predators, at least in some locations, appears to be on the upswing. One reason could be the golden jackal’s diverse diet: it eats everything from gazelles to termites.
This Eurasian lynx kitten, thanks to CITES and other protections, will hopefully grow into a majestic adult. The wild cat, eradicated from other places such as Western Europe, now has more population stability in other regions, like Iraq. It preys on fairly large-sized mammals and birds.
The organization Nature Iraq recently took the first camera trap image of a wild Persian leopard in Iraq. Previously, it was thought that this stunning, large wild cat was only in parts of Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan and a few other places.
Protections, such as those provided by CITES, are critical for a species like this, which would otherwise be decimated for its fur. Habitat loss poses another threat.