Saturday November 27, 2021

Human-wildlife conflict to be prevented in Leopard Reserve

October 17, 2021

Islamabad : The climate change ministry has decided to introduce a viable strategy to prevent human-wildlife conflict while establishing Leopard Reserve in the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP).

The details shared by the ministry revealed that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has directed the relevant officials that it is necessary to evolve a strategy that can ensure the protection of both villagers and the leopards because it would help achieve the goals of establishing Leopard Reserve in the national park.

An official stated “The policy will mainly revolve around the sustainability of food chain, crops barrier, land preservation, and minimized interventions. The villagers will be informed about the importance of protecting wildlife species that have a major role to maintain the natural ecosystem.”

He said that the policy would also ensure the sustainability of the food chain that is one of the reasons that causes conflict between the people and the wildlife species.

“Leopards sit at the top of the food chain in the Margalla Hills so if there is any missing link in it then they would be deprived of their food and, ultimately, turn towards domestic livestock as food sources,” he said.

The official said the areas used by people from dawn to dusk are used by leopards from dusk to dawn, adding “Leopards are found to be living in scrub forests and small patches of forests where they rest and stay hiding from the people.”

The human-wildlife conflict happens more and more, affecting a lot of different species. The effects of climate change will probably make the problem worse. Whenever the natives and the wildlife animals come into contact in the forest, it often leads to the killing of animals in self-defence, or as a pre-emptive or retaliatory act.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam has said when prey becomes scarce, leopards look towards domestic livestock as food sources, which often results in conflict between animals and humans.

“We must recognize that coexistence between humans and wildlife is only possible when communities recognize wildlife’s value and benefits. Enhancing local commitments to prevent human-wildlife conflicts and halting the degradation of forest ecosystems act as a key to ensure a brighter future for all living beings,” he said.