Two markhors offered for trophy hunting

CHITRAL, Nov 22: Divisional forest officer wildlife division Chitral Imtiaz Hussain has said two permits of trophy hunting of Kashmir markhor in the Toshi Shaha conservancy were being auctioned at $100,000 each.

Addressing a function held in his office here on Friday in connection with oath-taking ceremony of the executive members of village conservation committee (VCC) of Seen village, he said 80 percent of the income would go to the community.

He said that the trophy hunting in the area was indicator of the healthy environment of the district which is known for its richest biodiversity of all districts of the province. Mr. Hussain claimed that the trophy hunting of Kashmir markhor and ibex led to the reduction in poverty in the area as the income accrued from the sale of hunting permits were placed at the disposal of the community for utilization as per its needs.

He said that the income was handed over to the community through the respective VCCs whose executive members and office-bearers are elected directly by the community members through the popular democratic process.

A tourist can drive for just 20 minutes from the Chitral town to Tushi and standing at the Garam Chashma Road city can see the markhor in its natural habitat from a very close range, says divisional forest officer Chitral.

He said this also promoted tourism in the area. He asked the community members to work rigorously for the conservation of biodiversity strictly as per the terms of agreement between the VCC and the wild life department and shun their differences.

The president of the super cluster of the VCCs, Muhammad Muzaffar Khan administered oath to the executive members who had been elected for a five-year term.–Zahiruddin