Report: Waqar Ahmed
BREP: A mysterious viral disease has killed dozens of foxes in Brep and adjacent villages of Yarkhun valley in the last few days.
More than five carcasses of foxes were found in the vicinity of Brep with similar stories from adjoining villages of Istach, Dizg, Khozh and Diwangol.
A considerable increase in the population of foxes was witnessed for the last a couple of years in the entire valley of Yarkhun according to the local people, but this viral epidemic will deal a deathblow to their population if proper prevention measures are not taken by the Wildlife Department.
Talking to ChitralToday, Zafar Ahmad, a conservationist and expert in the field, who also teaches zoology in the local high school said: “Foxes are very important member of animal food chain and contribute positively in the maitenance of our ecosystem. They also play a vital role in the growth of some endengered species of plants like Russian olive, which are at the verge of extinction in Chitral.”
Apart from that, population of foxes can also play a vital role in the boost of tourism in the area as foreign tourists take a keen interest in wildlife in addition to the natural beauty of our country, he added”.
The epidemic viral disease, spread among the foxes, can easily be controlled if timely precautionary measures are taken by Wildlife Department, in collaboration with the Livestock Department of the district.
He said the livestock officials should first carry out autopsy of the carcasses of foxes to ascertain the nature of viral disease and then through proper vaccination the lives of precious wildlife member can be saved.
It merits a mention here that a large number of wild animals are found in Yarkhun valley including Himalayan Ibex, snow leopard, wolves, foxes and lynx.