Predators at risk of being killed by herdsmen

CHITRAL: Predators of all species are at high risk of being killed in retaliation by herdsmen to save their livestock as there is no provision of compensation with the wildlife department for the owners of the domestic animals killed by the carnivores.

Himalayan lynx seen hunting markhor.

Ahmed Khan, a resident of Barghuzi in Koh area, said two days before the Eidul Fitr, a predator, believed to be lynx, killed as many as 46 goats of a herdsman of his village inflicting a heavy loss on him, but the wildlife department told him that they had no compensation for him.

He said the predation of livestock in the high pastures in the summer season happened quite often but not in a single case the predator had been killed by the law-abiding people who restrained themselves from opening fire even in the air to ward it off.

The regional program manager of Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) in Chitral, Shafiqullah Khan, said compensation to the herdsmen losing their livestock to the predators was inevitable as they heavily depended on it for their sustenance.

He said the experience of SLF proved quite fruitful and needed to be replicated in some villages of Lower Chitral where community was financially strengthened in lieu of which they became the guards of snow leopard.

Divisional forest officer of wildlife division Idrees Khan said there was no provision of compensation for the owner of domesticated animal hunted by the predators in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife and Biodiversity (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act 2015.

 

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