He pledged to care for Iran's flora, fauna, soil and sea. The landscapes, endangered animals, the unique saltwater Lake Urmia, the Caspian Sea, and other parts of the natural world of Iran were filmed though the eyes of this forward-thinking conservationist, Hormoz Asadi. We want to share this rare footage with you.
Hormoz Asadi (1948-2008) had an M.S. in Biology from the University of Mankato Minnesota, USA, under an Iranian DoE scholarship. His Ph.D. research was focused on the Asiatic cheetah conservation crisis in Iran, through the University of Mainz, Germany. In the 1990s, Hormoz realized that the cheetah faced critically endangered status, so he warned people both inside and out of Iran. This increased wildlife conservation, inspired organizations, students and naturalists, to help save the species. Hormoz had the foresight because before he returned to his homeland of Iran, he had gained extensive experience with wildlife conservation in India, Australia, Germany, and the USA. In India, he operated anti-poaching efforts to help save India's tigers and leopards with WWF and TRAFFIC, and gained acclaim as a Cat Specialist, which you can read about in the Big Cat Tales. Hormoz was featured in the local newspapers, in National Geographic photographers' books, and a BBC documentary film, for his incredible and successful efforts in India. Hormoz had great expertise and foresight about wildlife management and conservation strategies, so when he estimated there were a mere 100 Asiatic cheetahs remaining in the wild, he tried to made cry for help.
In 1996, he decided to do something about the Asiatic cheetahs, which only exist in Iran. He formed the Asiatic Cheetah Conservation Project, which was featured in the New York Times. You can learn more by reading our collection of Articles.
Hormoz was also concerned about the unique Caspian Seal, exclusive to the Caspian Sea. That is why he formed the Caspian seal research in collaboration with the University of Leeds, and the Darwin Project. These, and other, much-needed international projects were the first collaborations of their kind, and raised global attention to Iran's wildlife,
which was especially important for some of its endangered species -
Asiatic cheetahs, Persian leopards, and Persian fallow deer.
Yet, by 2006, Hormoz was driven to warn that Iran's cheetahs were still not getting the urgent attention they needed. "In my view the Asiatic cheetah did not receive the serious treatment it deserved. In the beginning of this study in August 1996, the ecologists were lagging far behind pastoralists, farmers, hunters, game-wardens and tribal people in the historical study of the cheetah population ecology in Iran." Unfortunately, today, with less than 50 cheetahs in Iran - some experts say less than 35 remain, Asiatic cheetahs face what should be a globally-concerning, crisis. We must document these rare species, learn about their habitats, and share the incredible biodiversity of Iran with global audiences - before they are all gone.
Kazem Bayram, international award-winning photographer and videographer, has unprecedented images of the Persian Gulf and Iranian landscapes. Iran has some of the most incredible and varied wildlife, landscapes and biodiversity, which you can see in this brief video. For over 10 years, he also worked closely with wildlife conservationist Hormoz Asadi, documenting conservation projects such as the Caspian seals, and the endangered Persian Fallow deer. Using rare footage, Kazem is working in a new documentary film, told through the eyes of Hormoz Asadi's colleagues, former students, family and friends. It will explore Iran's deserts, forests, lakes and seas, as you learn about the environment and wildlife of Iran, and meet some of the wildlife conservationists. From the rare mangrove forests of Qeshm Island that houses the endangered dugong, the Straits of Hormoz, the Caspian Sea with its unique species of seals, Touran and Miandasht that have the last remaining Asiatic cheetahs and Persian leopards, the salt water lake, Urmia, and more. We not only have to strive to save these species, but we must document them - before they are gone!
We have a rare opportunity to bring global audiences this never seen before footage that enters Iran's natural world to document its endangered species. The biblical, endangered Persian fallow deer are featured in this photo during a trans-relocation project. Finally, worldwide audiences can see the beautiful endangered species and landscapes of Iran, and learn about its endangered species from wildlife conservation experts. Award-winning photographer, Kazem Bayram, worked with Hormoz for over 10 years and has filmed breathtaking scenery, and the captivating stories about wildlife conservation - and the people who risk their lives for it. We need your generous support to produce a full-length wildlife documentary about this important work with Iranian wildlife. Contact us to learn more