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March 6, 2021

Rare wildlife species returning to Margalla Hills

Islamabad

March 6, 2021

Islamabad: The camera trapping devices showed that rare wildlife species that were believed to have left the Margalla Hills for other destinations are now returning back to their previous natural habitats.

The latest footages recorded through the devices revealed the presence of three more wildlife species including golden jackal, Indian Porcupine and small civet cat.

These camera trapping devices installed by Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) throw infrared rays in the night time that never disturbs the animals but makes their clear footages.

Apart from the increasing human interventions the loss of natural habitats was also one of the major factors that resulted in the migration of the wildlife species from the Margalla Hills.

The villagers living in the vicinity of MHNP collect wood to meet their fuel needs. Only a handful of houses in the villages have Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) stoves. However, even these households bake bread or roti in tandoors, which consume large quantities of wood. Wood is stolen and transported on camelback to villages in the vicinity as well as to poultry farms for heating, particularly in winter.

According to the reports, Illegal urban encroachments, poaching, and tree chopping are the major pressures on the delicate ecosystem of the park, the home also to a host of endangered species. Unfortunately, the location of the Margalla Hills means that it has become a recreational hub for people in Islamabad more than a secluded, protected park.

The strategic location of the Margalla Hills also means that extraordinary security measures are also in place here which add to the stress to the ecosystem.

An official of IWMB said “Leopards are nocturnal animals and at night the park belongs to the wildlife – humans should not be using the trails at night.”

He claimed that they have seen approximately 30 percent more wildlife species at MHNP and their population is increasing at faster pace.