By Rashid Shirinov
A summer environmental camp was held in the Gariblar village of Azerbaijan’s Masally region on July 27-30 in the framework of “Protecting Caucasian leopards” project.
The camp was organized by IDEA Public Union, the Baku office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Republican Centre of Environmental Education of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Education. Over 70 schoolchildren from Masally, Astara and Lankaran regions took part in the event.
The first such camp was organized in July 2014, also in Masally, involving schoolchildren from Lankaran, Astara and Lerik regions.
The main goal of the summer camp is to educate schoolchildren living near the habitat of Caucasian leopards, this unique wild animal and advocating for its protection.
The students gathered information about the life and habitat of leopards and importance of this rare fauna species, and participate in various environmental studies, quizzes and competitions.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently announced that the number of Caucasian leopards is less than 1,000 across the Middle East and Asia, while their number is around 25 in the southwestern part of the Caucasus region.
Until the early 2000s, very little information about was available about leopards living in the territory of Azerbaijan. But, the studies of the past 15 years gave an opportunity for the national zoologists to discover their traces in Hirkan forest, Nakhchivan and Mingachevir water reservoir.
With the aim of protecting and increasing the number of wild nature, IDEA identified the Caucasus Big Five project which also envisages protection of Caucasian leopard.
Considering symbol of the Caucasus and the region’s main living beauty, leopards, are also protected, under the “Protection of Leopards” project, which hold various events aimed at public education, including summer camps, scientific seminars and workshops for students.
Overall, IDEA Public Union, founded by Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Leyla Aliyeva always draws attention to the Azerbaijani flora and fauna issues. The campaign regularly arranges various activities and projects aimed at the problems of environmental and animal protection.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz