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PESHAWAR, July 18 (BelTA – Associated Press of Pakistan). – Former KP Chief Wildlife Conservator, Dr Mumtaz Malik, said on Monday that highly vulnerable to climate change, Pakistan, like other developing countries, also faces challenges related to environmental and weather variations , which adversely affects approximately 786 wildlife and biodiversity resources that play a vital role in food. chain.

The erratic variations in weather conditions, mainly observed in South Asian countries including Pakistan, in recent years have had negative effects on biodiversity and wildlife conservation programs, in addition to impacting negatively on their flora and habitats.

“Evolving weather changes integrated with climate change include erratic rainfall, flash floods, storms, intense drought, heat waves, sea level rise, melting glaciers, erratic snowfall and Extreme cold conditions have endangered many wildlife species, especially in the wetlands of South Asian countries including Pakistan,” said Dr Mumtaz Malik, former KP Chief Wildlife Conservator during a briefing. an interview with APP.

He said Pakistan was among 10 countries highly vulnerable to climate change where habitats for wildlife, especially aquatic species, were shrinking mainly in wetlands, in addition to posing serious threats to sharks and whales, reptiles and other aquatic animals.

The wildlife expert said climate change has endangered around 90 different wildlife species, some of which are close to extinction. Endangered species include the Siberian crane, white-backed vulture, long-billed vulture, red-headed vulture, saker and peregrine falcon, and hawksbill turtle.

Kashmir gray langur, Indus dolphin, fin whale, Balochistan bear, musk deer, hog deer, pangolin, Egyptian vulture, green turtle and narrow-headed turtle were also threatened by climate change.

Dr Mumtaz said about 786 wildlife species found in Pakistan, including 186 reptiles and 173 mammals, and about 90 species, including 50 mammals, 27 birds and 17 reptiles, have been categorized as endangered, vulnerable and close to extinction.

He said the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) declared the common leopard, snow leopard, Ladakh urial, great spotted eagle, fish eagle, houbara bustard, turtle crowned river turtle, soft-shelled turtle and many other mammals, birds and reptiles. vulnerable to extinction.

“Floods and drought are destroying the flora of wildlife in its pastures, especially in wetlands and high mountain pastures. As a result, they descend to lower areas to feed, thus exposing themselves to illegal hunting.

He said the frequency of migrating birds was also being affected by climate change overseas, where the habitats of houbara and cranes were also being disrupted.

‘Hobara likes cool temperatures for breeding. It is very sensitive to migratory birds and no longer uses the road if it detects a danger on the way during the first trip. “Houbara takes three to five years to find a new one in the event of the loss of a companion.”

Dr Mumtaz said “The bird only lays two eggs a year and the older chick often kills the younger for fear of sharing food”, adding that this rivalry between houbara hatchlings is also the one of the main factors in the gradual decline of its population.

He said the rapid increase in human population was putting extraordinary pressure on forests and turning agricultural lands into habitation societies, thus habitats for native wildlife including jackals, monkeys, foxes, ducks and doves, were affected. Dr Mumtaz said the abundance of poultry forms had negative effects on the population of jackals, foxes and mongooses.

While qualifying the Billion Tree Reforestation Project was an important initiative in the green sector, he said that “preference may be given to the planting of native species to augment the flora and vegetation of a endangered wildlife species in addition to enhancing their breeding habitats”.

To combat climate change, he said, “we need to increase protected areas, wildlife flora, curb illegal hunting and trade of wild animals and monitor their habitats in addition to diverting financial resources for the strengthening of wildlife conservation and protection programs”.

Niaz Ali Khan, a former forest department conservator, said about 10 new jungles have been created as part of a billion tree project at KP which has created breeding grounds for hawks, bears, houbaras, cranes, bears, common leopard, dove, ducks, monkeys, foxes, wolves, jackals, pigeons, monal pheasants, koklas, kaleej, tgragopan, black and gray partridges and chakor national birds to thrive.

Defending the eucalyptus plantation, he said it was a fast-growing species that had not only enlarged the wildlife habitats of KP, but had also consumed carbon dioxide in large quantities in addition to fighting against salinity.

Latifur Rehman, spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Wildlife told APP that under the Wildlife Biodiversity Act 2015, three new national parks including Nizampur Nowshera, Malakandi and Kamalban Manshera, six game reserves at Mankyal and Kalam Swat, Turchtor Koh Chitral, Kumrat Dir Upper, Dir Kohistan and Kohisulaman DI Khan, six game reserves at Gujar Banar, Mandor Swat, Dilan Hangu, Haryan Kot Malakand, Kamatmekhaillaki Lakki Marwat and Cheena Gul Hangu and four Himalayan Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Bar Qalabaish Banar Swat, Mangal Thana and Malaka e Maha Banar Buner and Minkyal Haripur have been established in the last four years at Khyber Pakthunkhwa.

As a result, he claimed that the wildlife protection area of ​​KP, which was only 10.22% before 2018, has been increased to 15.61% in 2022.

To combat wildlife smuggling, he said six mobile checkpoints and 11 permanent checkpoints and six joint checkpoints with the forest department have been set up in addition to recovering heavy fines from offenders. after posting illegal hunting videos on social media.

He said 22,814 cases were registered against offenders of which Rs 86,400,974 were recovered by the department and Rs 2,844,738 through court cases during the period 2018-22.

The spokesman said about Rs 277.733 million has been collected through the trophy hunting program including regulated hunting of Markhor and Ibex in addition to partridge hunting and issuance of permits of small animal hunting, of which 222.958 million were distributed among local communities for the protection of wildlife in their respective territories. areas.

He declared 26 vacancies and three million rupees for the construction of a link road and the repair works of Chitral Gol National Park, in addition to the preparation of rules for the KP community managed game reserves, national parks and wildlife service rule changes.

Apart from the KP Zoological Gardens and Biosecurity Reserve Rules 2021, he said the Conservation and Endowment Rules 2021 are in their final stages while the small arms shooting license fee has been increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs5000.

Apart from approving three new wildlife circles, he said the Wildlife Act 2015 has been extended to the amalgamated tribal districts where 650 local people have been appointed in seven tribal districts and the land purchase process for the construction of offices and checkpoints has begun.

Along with the restoration of the wildlife and biodiversity council and the martyrs package for staff, he said the government had approved Rs 200 million for the establishment of a biodiversity and wildlife fund.

Peshawar Zoo has 34 wild and other animals with 104 new births, approval of Rs 188.960 million for improvement of environmental condition of Saiful Malook National Park, upgrading of Toghmangara Safari Park in Kohat and strengthening of biodiversity and improved economic conditions of local communities have been achieved.


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