Dhorpatan to reopen for hunting
BY PRAGATI SHAHI
KATHMANDU, July 15 - After a decade, the government is all set to open Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve (DHR) as officials have found the game population satisfactory.
"We have conducted a status survey of the wild animals in the reserve and completed all internal preparations," said Jhamak Bahadur Karki, senior econologist at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) and a member of the team that conducted the census. "We are just waiting for final approval to the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation to issue game licenses."
"The government is to provide a game license for the abundant species found in the status survey," said Tirtha Raj Sharma, secretary at the ministry.
DNPWC official Karki said blue sheep and Himalayan thar are plentiful in number and the government can provide permits to interested game hunters for certain numbers of the animals in the reserve.
The government permits hunting in six hunting blocks in the reserve -- Sundaha, Seng, Dogadi, Phagune, Barse and Gustang.
With the escalation of Maoists insurgency the government had stopped issuing licenses to professional hunters in the country's only hunting reserve.
According to a survey conducted by the DNPWC team between May 25 and June 12, 2007, a total of 852 blue sheep locally known as jharal were counted in the specified six hunting blocks.
Out of 852 counted, 126 were termed as trophy rams, 92 were medium rams and 45 were young rams. The trophy rams are ideal for hunting but the government can permit hunting of all mature rams.
According to Karki, the proposed quota for blue sheep hunting in the reserve for the next five years includes six in Dogadi and four each in the other five blocks. However, two more quotas for hunting can be added in Barse, Dogadi and Sundaha if the hunters demand more.
"If the number of game hunters increases, we can propose Surtibang as a new block for hunting," said another official at the Department.
According to the survey, Himalayan thars can be hunted in all the six blocks-- four in Sundaha and two each in the other five blocks, every year.
"It is encouraging to see the number of wildlife species increasing to a satisfactory level in DHR even though it was highly affected by the Maoists insurgency," he said. During the insurgency, Maoists captured most of the reserve and there were reports that the number of blue sheep had declined with the Maoists hunting them for meat. The last survey of wildlife was conducted in 1990.
According to DNPWC sources, hunting is allowed in the reserve with strict monitoring by officials and licensed guides who accompany the hunters. Hunting license is provided during February to April and August to October.
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve is the prime habitat of blue sheep, a highly-prized trophy animal and the main target of hunters. Other game species are Ghoral, Serow, Himalayan Thar, Black Bear, Pheasant and Partridge.
Endangered species including red panda ,cheer pheasant and snow leopard are strictly protected inside the DHR, said Karki.
Posted on: 2007-07-14 20:39:55 (Server Time)
We have an update on Nepal in the Summer Issue of Ovis which will go in the mail on August 4. There is a full report from Ed Yates and Dennis Campbell (Ovis Ammon) chimes in too.
The upcoming issues of both Grand Slam and Ovis are great. All of you should get it in a week to 10 days.
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