Rising human-wildlife conflict leads to loss of fauna in KP

PESHAWAR: The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa is home to an extensive variety of wildlife, including over 50 species of mammals, 42 species of reptiles and several hundred species of birds.

However, as the province’s human population grows and encroaches on animal territory, the two have found themselves at odds in what could be called a human-wildlife conflict.

In the latest encounter, three rare leopards were shot dead in Darra Adam Khel of Khyber agency, while several such attacks have also been reported in surrounding regions of Shangla, Orakzai, upper Swat and Dir district, in the last few months. Previously, two leopards were also shot dead near the tribal areas of Darra Adam Khel, while another fell prey to a bullet near the hills of Nizampur, a few years ago.

According to local shepherds, the leopards are a looming threat to their livestock. “After the attack on our livestock, we waited for ten day to catch the leopard alive but it had to be shot when the situation escalated,” Shakir Afridi, a shepherd party to the mob which hunted down one of the leopards in Darra Adam Khel said.

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