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May 9, 2021

Dozens of Markhors found dead near Pakistan-Iran border

 
May 9, 2021

Islamabad : The discovery of dozens of dead Sulaiman Markhors in Zamran area situated close to Pakistan-Iran border has raised eyebrows of the conservationists who have demanded immediate inquiry into this issue at the earliest.

According to the local people, the apparent reason of deaths of Sulaiman Markhors, famous for their coloUr and beauty, is believed to be some kind of poison that was thrown into the ponds of water.

Some also informed that poisonous spray was widely used to eliminate locusts in the area in the recent past so it may have caused deaths of these Markhors.

Shahrayar Khan, a conservationist, said “The government should immediately carry out laboratory tests of water reservoirs to get to know whether they contain any kind of poison. The poisonous spray was also used to remove locusts so it is also necessary to closely monitor the vegetation cover that may also contain poisonous substances.”

The Wildlife of Pakistan and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have so far not initiated their investigation into the deaths of Markhors but local community hoped they would come forward and dig out the real facts about it.

Large populations of Sulaiman Markhor also known as Straight Horned Markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni) and Afghan Urial (Ovis orientalis cycleros) are found in Zamran area.

It is pertinent to mention here that the population of Markhors in Hazargangi Chiltan National Park near Quetta, another safe place for this rare animal species, has increased from 900 in 2014 to almost 2,000 in 2020 despite the fact that the trophy hunting has so far not been started here due to various reasons.

The record of Biodiversity Directorate of Balochistan showed that Markhor trophy hunting was initiated in 1997 in Pakistan.

According to Wildlife of Pakistan, IUCN in 1995 initiated a community-based conservation and sustainable use programme that initially operated as a pilot project in some of the locally-managed conservation areas containing Markhor populations.

The Biodiversity Directorate is collecting information about deaths of Markhors and it is likely to prepare a report that would be submitted to the relevant authorities in the coming weeks.