Wildlife and struggle for survival

Northern areas of Pakistan which is an important region for many reasons. The region is home to water towers and energy. Which irrigates Pakistan’s agricultural lands due to its vast water resources. The region has three of the world’s largest mountain ranges, the Karakoram, the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. The only land route through the Karakoram is with China, bordering Afghanistan on one side and Indian-controlled Kashmir on the other. Its territory consists of dry conical forests of the Himalayan mountain ranges. There are amazingly bloodthirsty wild species in this region. These include the Snow Leopard, Markhor, Squirrel, Marco Polo Sheep, Musk Deer, Brown Bear, Himalayan Links, Otter Leopard, Partridge and Regar. Due to the high prey of these animals, the species of this rare species is becoming extinct. George B. Schaller , who was on a visit to Chitral in 1971 for his research, writes in The Mountain Mammals in Pakistan, a research report published by Oxford University.

“50% of the sheep and goats, 31% of Markhor and 13% of Rem Forbes are used daily for religious and regional programs. ”

”In 1973, the Deputy Commissioner of Chitral banned shooting. Despite this, hunting of rare animals could not be stopped. The report further states that

“6 leopards were shot dead in one year in Chitral”.

And in Gilgit-Baltistan, deforestation is causing the extinction of these rare species of animals, one of the reasons being human protection.
Due to food shortages around the world, these bloodthirsty animals are attacking human beings. In Iran, 83, in many states of India, dozens of people are killed by the attacks of these carnivorous animals, in Nepal, the ratio is 16%. More than fifty people die every year. Dozens of animals were killed in a leopard attack on a cattle ranch in Gilgit-Baltistan that year. According to Dawn,

“Affected farmers have been assisted with funds from the Trophy Hunting Program.”

We need to pay attention to the fact that after the study of economic zoology and zoography, its usefulness and economic benefits have been assessed. ۔
It is noteworthy that out of all the pets in Gilgit-Baltistan, sheep and goats are the most numerous. And cows are raised to meet their milk needs and oxen are raised to meet their farming needs. Sheep and goats need to be fed less than other pets and this has about half dozen economic benefits. For example, two times milk, meat, making traditional clothes from hair, making four pies from fur,Using it for interbreeding etc. It is because of these many benefits that these animals are reared at home and are cared for during the twelve months of the year. From March to September, they are transported to the mountains away from settlements and crops to store fodder for four winter months. Shelter and fences are built there to protect them from carnivores in these mountainous areas. In the month of September, snowfall begins in the mountains. Leopards and other wild species, facing geographical barriers, move from high peaks to settlements to fight for survival. And attack pets. As a result, pets become prey. Owners suffer financial losses. Because a lifetime’s earnings sink in an instant and a few thousand donations can’t cure the loss. The leopard is a rare animal if it is forbidden to kill. so what ? Also not all the other animals are rare, who live with the leopard at the top of the mountains in cold weather? Musk deer and other species live at such heights.

There is no strategy to save these animals and there is no provision of their food and nourishment away from the populations, due to which they attack the populations. Not a single volunteer of the forest department is seen in winter. When it comes to protecting rare animals, they must be there. If the situation continues like this, the shortage of food will cause an attack on animals as well as humans, killing not only pets but also human lives. Is also at risk. The Forest and Wildlife Department is in dire need of attention.

Nusrat Abbas dassu
(Columnist is student of zoology university of Karachi)

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