Saturday, 7 July 2012

Pakistan's National Mammal Makes Comeback



ScienceDaily (July 3, 2012) — The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced July 3 that the markhor -- a majestic wild goat species -- is making a remarkable comeback in Pakistan due to conservation efforts.

WCS-led community surveys have revealed that markhor populations in northern Pakistan's Kargah region in Gilgit-Baltistan have increased from a low of approximately 40-50 individuals in 1991 to roughly 300 this year. These community surveys suggest that the total markhor population where WCS works in Gilgit-Baltistan may now be as high as 1,500 animals, a dramatic increase since the last government estimate of less than 1,000 in 1999.

Pakistan's national mammal, markhor are known for their spectacular, corkscrew horns that can reach nearly five feet in length. They are an important prey species for large carnivores such as wolves and snow leopards. Markhor have been listed as Endangered by IUCN since 1994, with a 2008 global population estimate of less than 2,500 animals across five countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and India. They are threatened by illegal hunting, habitat destruction, and competition from domestic goats and sheep.

Continued:
 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120703161459.htm

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