Pakistan

American citizen hunts for ور 160,000 in Markhor in Chitral

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This is the third victim of 2021 who was killed by an American citizen for Rs. (Photo: Wildlife)

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In the Lower Chitral District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, an American citizen has hunted Pakistan’s national animal, the Markhor, for Rs.
According to the Wildlife Department, Markhor was hunted by Brian Consul Harlan, a US citizen, at the Thoshi Markhor Conservancy in Lower Chitral on Friday.
A senior official of the district wildlife department said that the trophy of Kashmir Markhor hunt was won by an American citizen in the auction held in November last year.
An official of the Wildlife Department told Urdu News on condition of anonymity that the trophy was auctioned for 60 160,000, the largest amount ever.
He said that this is the third victim (trophy hunt) of 2021. According to him, Kashmir Markhor was nine years old and its horns were 45 inches in size.
Many types of markhor are found in Chitral, Kohistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Balochistan province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Under the Trophy Hunting Scheme in Pakistan, 12 licenses are issued for Markhor hunting every year.
Last year, an American citizen had also hunted Markhor in Chitral. According to the Forest Department, the hunting was done for 88,000 US dollars, while in 2020, a hunter paid 150,000 US dollars for hunting a male markhor.
Imtiaz Hussain, a former district officer of the wildlife department, said that after hunting, wildlife officials measure the horns of the hunted markhor, which is then handed over to the hunter. The hunter takes the horn with him as a trophy. According to him, hunters are usually not interested in Markhor meat.

Safe havens have been set up in Chitral for the protection of animals. (Photo: Wildlife)

Why is trophy hunting done?

According to the Wildlife Department, the trophy hunting was started to prevent poaching of Kashmir Markhors and to protect their offspring.
An official of the Wildlife Conservancy told Urdu News that the main purpose of the trophy hunting was to prevent poaching of Markhor by the local community.
According to him, the local community used to hunt Markhor illegally, mainly due to poverty and lack of awareness. However, poaching has declined since the beginning of conservation and trophy hunting.
He said that 80% of the trophy money is spent on the local community. The money is used by the local organization to provide health, clean water and other necessities of life.
Explaining another reason for the trophy hunt, the official said that the animals that are born as a result of the breeding of Markhor as they get older are genetically weaker.
That’s why the Wildlife Department is trying to get older animals hunted in the trophy hunt so that the old animals are eliminated and in return there is money available to provide facilities to the local community.
He said that since the auction of trophy hunting is done in dollars, it also helps in earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.

When and how did trophy hunting start?

Imtiaz Hussain, a former district officer of the forest department, told Urdu News that trophy hunting in Pakistan started in 1999. In 1997, a conference in Zimbabwe on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species allowed Pakistan to issue hunting trophies to curb poaching of Markhor.
Imtiaz Hussain said that initially Pakistan was allowed six trophies a year which was later increased to 12.

According to a former district official of the forest department, the hunter tries to catch the biggest markhor. (Photo: Wildlife)
Animal sanctuaries have been set up in Chitral consisting of Thoshi Shasha Conservancy and Gehrit Golen Conservancy. With this the ‘Community Managed Conservation’ program was launched.
According to him, out of 12 Markhor trophy permits, four are given in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, four in Gilgit-Baltistan and four in Balochistan.
Imtiaz Hussain said, “Thanks to trophy hunting and community-managed conservation, the number of Kashmir Markhors in Chitral, which was a few hundred in 1999, has now reached thousands.”
According to a present service officer of Wildlife, the number of Kashmir Markhors which was a few hundred has now increased to more than four thousand. “It simply came to our notice then.
The trophy hunting benefits the locals the most, so now the locals are the ones who protect Markhor the most.
Muzaffar Ahmed, President of Village Conservation Committee Person and Chief Representative of Super Conservation Committee Thoshi Shasha Conservancy, also endorsed Imtiaz Hussain and said that when two conservatories were formed in Chitral in 1999, the work of conservation was entrusted to VCCs (Village Conservation Committees). The total number of Markhor in Chitral was 297 and now it is 2019 According to the survey, the number of markhors is more than three thousand.
He said the local community has become the largest stakeholder in the system as 80 per cent of the trophy money is spent on them.

What does the local community spend money on trophy hunting?

Muzaffar Ahmed told Urdu News that the community spends the trophy money on the community’s collective welfare projects.
‘This money is mainly spent on supply of clean drinking water, construction of small hydropower projects locally, supply of community based schools which do not have building or other facilities and construction and repair of irrigation channel. ۔
Muzaffar said that These children from the community have a lot of potential but cannot continue their education due to lack of resources. This money is also used to provide scholarships.

To whom and how is a trophy hunting permit issued?

According to Imtiaz Hussain, trophy hunting permits are given through open auction. This auction is held in the month of November every year.
Since the trophy is auctioned in dollars, it is usually the foreign hunters who get the permit.

There are several varieties of Markhor in Chitral, Kohistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Balochistan. (Photo: Chitral National Round Park)
According to Imtiaz Hussain, trophy hunt outfitters participate in the auction who are in a way contractors. They provide markhor hunting services to foreign hunters.
Foreign hunters participate in the hunting trophy auction with the help of these outfitters. The highest bidder is awarded a trophy.
According to him, if the hunter could not do trophy hunting in the first year for any reason, then he can hunt on the same permit next year. But after two years, the permit expires.
Imtiaz Hussain said that even if the hunter misses fire during trophy hunting and Markhor runs away, the permit remains usable.
“But if Markhor is injured by the hunter’s firing but does not come to hand, it will still be considered a prey and the hunter will not be allowed to hunt any more.”
According to him, the organization and the hunter try to catch the biggest markhor.
According to Imtiaz Hussain, according to the law, the trophy hunting season is from November 15 to April. After that, as the breeding period begins, hunting is not allowed.

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Asad Malik

Asad is a journalist at UsamaSpeaks.com and he deals with Pakistan News, India News, and Lottery Sambad. Asad is a very professional and authentic news journalist.

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