Markhor Population Surges to Unprecedented Levels in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The Markhor, Pakistan’s national animal, has experienced a remarkable surge in population within the scenic landscapes of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Recognized for its nimble characteristics, distinctive appearance, and impressive spiral horns, the Markhor holds a special significance in the country’s biodiversity.
In a recent report from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department, a substantial increase in the Markhor population was celebrated, reaching an impressive 5,621 individuals in the province. This surge is especially noteworthy considering the species’ affinity for the highest mountainous terrains, encompassing areas in Chitral, Kohistan, and Kalam within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.
The report highlights specific regions contributing to this population boom, with Chitral leading at 2,427 Markhors, followed by Kohistan with 660, and Swat with 159. These figures underscore a positive trend in the collaborative conservation efforts aimed at protecting this iconic species.
A key factor attributed to this population upswing is the heightened awareness surrounding the illegal hunting of Markhors, particularly in the Swat and Kohistan regions. Conservationists attribute the success to increased vigilance and stringent measures against poaching, with a specific focus on preserving the natural habitats of these remarkable creatures.
The Markhor, characterized by its long winter coat and majestic horns, which can exceed 1.5 meters in males, symbolizes Pakistan’s rich wildlife heritage. Thriving in some of the most challenging terrains, the survival and prosperity of the Markhor reflect the country’s dedication to preserving its natural treasures.