Mountaineer goat, Markhor known to have beautiful physical attributes undoubtedly, their impressively beautiful long screw horn is also known to be national animal of Pakistan. This wild goat is found in Gilgit-Baltistan, in the valleys of Chitral, Kalash and Hunza, Pakistan’s North, India and Afghanistan.
Markhor previously being exposed to poaching, natural disasters, land-sliding were brought as a matter of concern to the conservationists around. It has been said that, to restore their diminished numbers the Government had ban its hunting.
Present on the Red List of Near Threatened since 2015. This near-to-extinct species were hardly sighted in the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and its outskirts. Wildlife Khyber PakhtunKhuwa Conservation Department, apparently took remarkable incentives with residents of nearby villages, and setup Markhor Hunting Trophy programme back in 2012.
Funded by Global Environmental Facility of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme, it was implemented by the government of Pakistan.
Considered as a conservational tool that actually allowed hunting of only 4 markhors yearly by Foreign Hunters raised a good amount of funds to be utilized in the restoration of the factors effecting Markhor population.
Last week, an American hunter named Edward Joseph Hudson chased a 10-year old male Markhor to death by archery, with 44 inches long screw horn in Toshi Shasha area of Chitral. Paying handsomely said permit fee worth PKR 17.12 million i.e. $80,000 US Dollars, has helped not only poverty stricken villages but also proved to be a beneficial growth for Markhor population.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s chief conservator Dr Muhsin Farooq, as he told The Express Tribune that 80 percent of the money shall be distributed among the local community, and will be of “help in conserving the wildlife in the region”
Contrary to the facts of benefits, trophy hunting programme has also fumed the emotions of neighboring villages, who have asked to be included and shared with funds that are collected through. This is still under contemplation by the government officials.
Even so, being practiced for years, the slayed Markhor picture with the Foreign Hunters has always jolted the Animal Rights Authorities and also outraged people emphasizing the Markhor hunting programme in Pakistan as a sensitive issue left overlooked.