Ziarat, October 29, 2010 (IUCN) – IUCN Pakistan Ziarat undertook the first ever survey of wildlife focusing on wild ungulates inhabiting the area. The purpose of the survey was to confirm occurrence of surviving population of Straight-horned Suleman Markhor -Capra falconerijerdoni in the Khalifat Mountain Range in Ziarat.
The survey was organized by IUCN jointly in collaboration with Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department and SUSG-CAsia Habitat & Species Conservation Project, Quetta. Five teams comprising of wildlife experts from IUCN, Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department, SUSG-CAsia and local community members conducted this survey at various potential sites of Markhor in the area.
The survey has revealed existence of very thin population of Suleman Markhor in the Khalifat mountain range in Ziarat. During the survey, six females and one male Markhor were directly sighted in Khalifat mountain area whereas; two females were sighted in Malikat Mountains. The fresh droppings of Markhor in the Malikat mountains also confirmed existence of Markhor in the area.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ghulam Qadir Shah, Project Manager Juniper Conservation Project termed the survey a great success, as existence of Suleman Makhor was scientifically authenticated in the area for the first time. According to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2010, no reliable information on occurrence of Suleman Markhor in Juniper Wildlife Sanctuary Ziarat has been reported before.
He further informed that IUCN Ziarat has planned more similar surveys of the area next year to estimate total surviving population of Suleman Markhor in the area. A participatory wildlife conservation plan will also be developed and implemented in collaboration with the Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department and local communities to ensure protection and multiplication of surviving animals. At a later stage trophy hunting of Markhor can be introduced once its population has been stabilized to promote conservation benefits for the local communities.
Mr. Shah appreciated the support provided by Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department, SUSG and local community members in the successful completion of the survey.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Akhtar Hussain Bazai, Conservator of Wildlife, Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department and Mr. Tahir Rasheed National Project Manager, SUSG-Habitat and Species Conservation Project, Quetta viewed this survey as a remarkable achievement and assured their full cooperation in conservation initiatives in the future.
Suleman Markhor is the national mammal of Pakistan, which has been listed as an endangered specie in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is scattered in northeastern Afghanistan, northern India (southwest Jammu and Kashmir), northern and central Pakistan, southern Tajikistan and southern Uzbekistan. It is found in mountain ranges at the elevation from 600 to 3,600 meters. Habitat fragmentation, illegal hunting, and other anthropogenic threats have severely reduced Markhor population in its natural habitats.
For Further Details Contact:
Syed Ghulam Qadir Shah
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Tel. +92 0833-560200, 560254, 0345-2006612;