Wildlife conservation committee set up in Terich

CHITRAL, May 23: The wildlife department has set up a village conservation committee (VCC) in Zondgrangram area of Terich valley for protecting endangered species.
The president of the newly formed Roshgol VCC, retired Professor Rahmat Karim Baig, said the area, situated at the bottom of Terich Mir peak of Hindukush mountains, was known for its rich flora and fauna with a high population of Himalayan ibex while the snow leopard was also spotted there.
He said that community-based conservation system was the only way to check poaching which posed grave threat to the population of ibex and other species, including the monal pheasant and partridge.
Mr Baig said the conflict between man and predators especially snow leopard was common in the valley and the formation of the VCC would surely help mitigate the intensity by compensating the losses in different ways.
wildlifeHe appreciated the efforts of the divisional forest officer of wildlife division, Imtiaz Hussain, for extending VCCs to the upper parts of Chitral to make the local community custodians of the biodiversity in their area having multi-faceted benefits.
“A local pattern of conservation was in vogue in the valley in the past which put an effective check on poaching which saved the population of different species from extinction,” he said, adding that even the predators were saved.
“The community based conservation has been highly successful in the present age as it enables people to manage their local wildlife species in return for financial benefits through trophy hunting,” he maintained.
The VCC president said Terich valley was the paradise of mountaineers and trekkers as it had many highest peaks, some as high as over 7,000 meters
The conservation of bio-diversity would help promote tourism in the area as tourists loved to see an ibex or markhor in its natural habitat.
Meanwhile, the DFO Imtiaz Hussain said two more VCCs were in the process of formation in Terich valley, adding that a conservancy might be set up in the area known for its fabulous varieties of wildlife.
He said the local people were highly responsive to the conservation efforts of the wildlife department.–Dawn

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