Many species of Kashmiri animals have greatly benefited from the paramilitary activity that has been taking place in the region since the late 1980’s, with populations rising 20-60 per cent.
There are two reasons for this increase in population. Firstly, local residents were required to turn in their arms when conflict broke out, leaving potential poachers weaponless and thus unable to illegally hunt. Secondly, very few people now venture into the forest for fear of encountering conflicting insurgents. As a result of this, local wildlife populations have been relatively isolated from human interference.
Snow leopard and leopard populations have increased in this region, in addition to bears, two species of deer and many birds.
For more information, see the BBC article at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6169969.stm.
The first official Red List of threatened species in Mongolia was presented at a Zoological Society of London lecture on Tuesday, 12 December. The list includes snow leopards as well bears, marmots, many wild ungulates, and even fish.
Populations of Mongolia’s threatened species have been declining since the breakup of the Soviet Union due to decreased law enforcement mechanisms and widespread financial hardship. Mining and logging also have a significant impact.
However, there is hope for the recovery of Mongolia’s wildlife. The Zoological Society of London meeting produced action plans for the conservation of all the species. Similar policies have been successful before, as in the case of the 250 member Przewakski’s horse population, which is thriving after being classified as extinct in 1996 and subsequently reintroduced into the wild.
For more information, see Unprecedented Loss of Mongolia’s Mammals on the Zoological Society of London web site.