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Number of Badakhshan wild animals, rare birds rises


Number of Badakhshan wild animals, rare birds rises

Oct 23, 2017 - 16:47

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): At least 20 different species of wild animals, including Marco Polo deer and around a hundred rare birds, inhabit National Park of northeastern Badakhshan province.

Abdul Majid Majidi, Badakhshan National Park head, told Pajhwok Afghan News the project in Wakhan district was spread on 10,300 square kilometers.

The sprawling park starts from the Fator village of Wakhan and covers Small and Large Pamir areas.

“We are definitely worried about the hunting of wild animals, natural resources. Wildlife has seriously been damaged in Badakhshan during the last three decades of war. But we hope this practice will stop.”

About the hunting of Marco Polo deer, he said local people were not involved but there were rumours that the border guards stationed in Wakhan and Ashkasham districts chased the animals.

“Twenty of wild animals, including the Marco Polo deer, wild goat, lion, bear and leopard, are seen in the national park of Badakhshan, particularly in Pamir.

“I can say around 500 to 600 Marco Polo deer and some 5,000 mountain goats live in Pamir Mountains, The number of these animals is growing,” he added.

Environment Protection Director Ghulam Nabi Sarfaraz claimed very atypical wild animals lived in the Pamir Mountains of Badakhshan.

He said a joint team of Afghan and US researchers had found some of the rarest species of lark in Wakhan district. The bird cannot be found in any part of the world except Thailand.

“Detection of this bird gives us hope that we may find more rare animals in mountainous areas of Badakhshan,” Sarfaraz said.

About the types of wildlife in Badakhshan, he said no comprehensive research had been conducted on identifying animals in the province but efforts were underway in this regard.

A provincial council member, Talabuddin Qaderi, said deer was still hunted in Wakhan and Pamir mountains. However, the practice has now declined to some extent.

He said the animals were hunted at night by the border guards stationed in Wakhan district. However, he said Tajikistanis hunted the deer in the winter when the routes to Pamir Mountains were blocked by snow.

But border commander Col. Amanullah Nasim said: “Not only do we guard frontiers, but also protect wild animals. Our personnel found hunting animals are fired and referred to courts.”

He rejected claims that border forces were involved in hunting animals and said no one had so far presented any evidence to prove such allegations.