Baramulla, Jammu & Kashmir, January 4, 2018: Working in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Protection (J&K), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) marked the New Year with a first-of-its-kind event in Jammu & Kashmir: a ‘Markhor Cricket Tournament’ with the pointed aim of raising awareness about the need to save the endangered markhor (Capra falconeri).
Organised under the banner of WTI’s Markhor Conservation Project, the tournament, part of an ongoing series of conservation awareness events, was held at Shahkote in Baramulla yesterday and attracted a huge audience from villages around Kazinag National Park. A match was played between Hirpora (Shopian) and Babagail (Limber) – fringe areas where the endangered mountain goat is found. The team from Hirpora carried the day, with Irfan Sheikh being declared the Man of the Match. Following the match, members of both teams as well as the organisers made New Year resolutions to keep the banner of wildlife conservation flying high.
“Love and respect for wildlife, and a sustainable lifestyle – these need to become essential ingredients in our lives, rather than being elements of mere symbolism and tokenism”, said Sameer Khazir, an Assistant Field Officer with WTI.
WTI Field Officer Tahir Gazanaffar said that more events of this nature will be organised with the aim of ensuring that local people become truly invested in wildlife conservation.