Letter to The Daily Times Editor, Pakistan Recommending scientific panel in Gilgit-Baltistan to monitor snow leopard

Letters to the Editor, The Daily Times, 41-N, Industrial Area, Gulberg II, Lahore, Pakistan Phone: 92-42-5878614-19; Fax: 92-42-5878620

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Endangered species

Sir: The northern mountainous regions of the Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir in Gilgit-Baltistan host some rare animals like the snow leopard and the Marco Polo sheep. However, the forests of Chilgoza Pine are under threat due to the surge in population, growing tourism, illegal hunting and business activities.

Consequently, natural resource depletion and wild habitat degradation have become an obvious phenomenon. In this alarming situation, scientific research and investigation of the current status of biodiversity becomes necessary. The existing official set-up of the forest and wildlife departments lacks foresight. In my view, a multi-disciplinary panel of scientists and researchers is required who would publish a red book of endangered species annually. So far, most of the research has been conducted by a handful of experts who come from western universities, or by a couple of interested officers belonging to the forest department.

The concerned authorities are requested to monitor the impact of climate change and growing population on these areas. A scientific observatory panel that can analyse critical trends in the endangered wild species population and suggest sustainable steps for their conservation is the need of the hour.



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