Jammu, 31 July 2018 : In the overarching landscape of Kazinag National Park, Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary and Tattakutti Wildlife Sanctuary resides the world’s largest mountain goat, Kashmir or Pir Panjal Markhor (Capra falconeri cashmiriensis), a Near Threatened species and Schedule -1 species under Wildlife (Protection) Act (1972) and Jammu and Kashmir WPA (2002a). Though remote, these Protected Areas (PA) in recent times are deeply affected by uncontrolled large-scale grazing. This has caused a disastrous impact on the habitat and population of Markhor in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
To curb interferences in the area, the state forest department has declared most of the PA as a no-grazing zone for non-traditional herders and has established four anti-grazing camps in Pir-ki-Gali, Dobijan, Hirpora, and Sedow in Hirpora, as per their strategic locations. Apart from permanent forest staff, the department has been proactive and engaged seasonal workers as part of these patrol groups. The main task of the patrolling staff is to bar illegal grazing and ensure validated entry for only registered herders. Similar steps were also taken in Kazinag and Tatakutti WLS.
However, patrolling these mountainous PA’s for months is no easy task, given the rugged terrain. WTI’s Markhor recovery project team while working alongside these patrolling groups often heard how they felt a lacuna of not having good trekking shoes. In a bid to support this need, WTI along with J&K Forest department, with an ample support of CAF-India planned to provide with high-altitude trekking shoes for daily patrolling.
In the month of July, in separate events, these high altitude trekking shoes were officially handed over to the wildlife staff of Hirpora, Kazinag and Tatakutti WLS in the presence of respective wildlife wardens and other prominent forest officials. In an event in Hirpora, Mr Mohd Sadiq Mir, Wildlife Warden, North Kashmir addressed the gathering and said, “Wildlife Trust of India has borne all expenses to provide the frontline staff with these shoes. Such small contribution definitely goes a long way in motivating, enhancing the work proficiency of the wildlife staff.”
WTI through its outreach wing ‘Rapid Action Project’ have always been in the forefront in supporting such urgent and critical needs of any wildlife conservation body, across the country. Need to know more or plan to address any wildlife issue in your locality, please reach out to us on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org