CHITRAL: Markhor population swells in Chitral game reserve
CHITRAL, Feb 13: Wildlife conservators have observed increase in the population of Kashmiri Markhor in the Tushi Gol game reserve near here, said an official on Thursday.
Qimat Nazim Baig, who works for conservation of wildlife in the area, told Dawn that the protected site was attracting domestic tourists due to the growing population of the animal.
The area was reserved for the former rulers of the Chitral state where only the sitting ruler used to go for hunting. The place was known for the biggest population of Markhor but their number reduced to 16 in 1980 due to unabated hunting.
Mr Baig said the local community had moved the idea of conservation and now the Markhor population had reached 640 animals according to the latest census report. He said a village conservation committee, Al-Burhan, had been taking care of the species in the area for two decades.
He said Markhors which could be seen across the Lotkoh River in their natural habitat attracted a large number of people.
“In the late afternoon the sight of the frolicking animals makes unforgettable moments of life, which can be seen just opposite the bank of the river where they throng for drinking water,” he said in an excited tone.
He said the wildlife department had so far issued 23 hunting permits and had earned millions of rupees. Only the other month a Norwegian hunter, Oyvind Christensen, hunted a Kashmiri Markhor in the Tooshi game reserve and paid $81,200 as permit fee.
He said 60 per cent of the income from such permits went to the local community who utilised it for their collective well-being and it made them more conscious to preserve the wildlife. He said another special feature of the game reserve was the presence of another endangered species of snow leopard in the winter season, where it descended from the higher altitude.
Mr Baig observed that when the number of Markhors was on decline, the snow leopard had also disappeared from the scene long ago. He was of the view that distribution of biodiversity in a location was natural and the disturbance of one species caused extinction of the other as well.
He said many rare species of birds also adorned the game reserve, which also included partridge (Chakor).
He maintained that the peculiarity of the reserve was the presence of the national animal (Markhor) and the national bird (Chakor).
He suggested that the department of tourism should provide physical facilities to the area, adding the former ruler of Chitral, Sir Shujaul Mulk, had also established a summer bungalow which still existed.
not 60 percent , 80 percent share goes to community and population of snow leopard is incresing in large number in Chitral / Ghizar / Astor / Hunza and skurdu Region and they are causing death of Markhor's and Ibexes
Chirtal Area is also rich in population of Himalayan Ibex but Due to hard Climbing and Step Mountain thats area is not recomemended as well hunt in Nothern Areas which is more Easiser and trophy Quality is also good
if the tourist population increase in Tushi ,Great , and ChitralGol Area then it will be dangerious for the Animal , because then Local Tourist know there habitate and it will be a Easy task for Porching those Rare animals
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