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Pakistan earns $4.86m through 74 permits for trophy hunting

By Our Correspondent
September 20, 2020

Islamabad : Pakistan has so far earned $4.86 million dollar by issuing 74 permits to local and foreign nationals for trophy hunting of Markhor, national animal of Pakistan.

According to the data provided by the climate change ministry, the hunting permits are issued annually for various areas including the Gilgit-Baltistan, the Tooshi Conservancy district Chitral, Gehrait Conservancy district Chitral, and Kaigah Conservancy in district Kohistan.

In 2019, four trophy hunting permits of markhor were sold for record-high revenue of $502,500 as compared to the previous year, which was $342,000.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government banned trophy hunting this year due to coronavirus outbreak otherwise it earns thousands of dollars annually through the trophy hunting programme of rare species like Ibex, Markhor, Urial and Blue sheep.

The trophy hunting produced positive results as the markhor population has now increased to 3,500--4,000 in the country as compared to 1,500-2,000 in 2001.

Under the trophy hunting programme, the local communities receive 80 percent of the license fee with the government keeping the rest. The amount varies as the licenses are issued through a bidding process.

In trophy hunting only old male markhors are shot and they can be identified from their horns, gait and the body structure. This programme is now cited as a huge victory in biodiversity preservation in Pakistan.

The incentives created through the trophy hunting programme have introduced a new ethics in the concerned communities that now protect their wild game species as an economic asset.

It is pertinent to mention here that every year when hunters post photographs with markhors hunted during the expedition these draw immediate expressions of sorrow and indignation on social media. But, in reality, this trophy hunting greatly helps save a rare and endangered species from potential extinction.

The ministry informed that the trophy hunting programme has put a complete ban on killing markhor without a license. The maximum sentence for illegally hunting a markhor is three years imprisonment.