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Posted 10 January 2007 - 11:57 PM
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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:00 AM
LAHORE: A leopard succumbed to injuries which it sustained while fighting with dogs on Thursday night. According to official sources, the injured leopard was caught by wildlife department officials near Chak No 32 of Hanjarwal adjacent to the Changa Manga forest. The leopard was given first aid but it could not survive.
Wildlife Department orders search for leopard cats
* One leopard cat dead after pair entered Hanjarwal
By Noshad Ali
LAHORE: Wildlife Department Director General Imtiaz Tajwar has directed all district field officers to search for animals that have migrated to their areas – especially those who belong to the cat family and have migrated from the Northern Areas to Punjab because of the cold weather – after a pair of leopard cats entered Hanjarwal.
Locals of the area took the cats for leopards and brought in hunting dogs to chase them down. As a result, ten dogs were injured and the male leopard cat died, while the other escaped. (man, our jahil public will never learn ):swear:
Wildlife officials were now searching for the escaped cat, said the Hanjarwal Wildlife Department Deputy Director Shakoor Malik. He said the leopard cats that entered Hanjarwal were not wild, and such cats only attacked human beings when they were afraid.
He said the Wildlife Department was trying its best to catch the escaped female cat.
The Wildlife Department director general had also formed a task force of five officials, who are experts in tracking such animals, to bring in the cat without hurting it, he added.
About the dead cat, he said the locals had made a mistake by attacking the pair instead of telling the Wildlife Department. He denied that the female cat had been injured.
Wildlife Breeding Farm Assistant Director Anwar said the arrival of leopard cats in any district of Punjab was not impossible because such cats from the Northern Areas could travel 50 to 60 kilometres a day.
“In cold whether, these cats come down from the hilly areas,” he said, adding that they first entered Murree and then Jhelum before reaching the plains of Punjab, where the whether is not that cold. He said that leopard cats did not usually move in groups, but considering the weather conditions, it was possible for more of these cats to have entered Punjab.
He said that compared to an average leopard, leopard cats were slightly smaller in size, and were also called baby leopards.
“Breeding this member of the cat family can be a useful addition to the wildlife of our area,” he said.
( I am really confused. Are these Leopards ((Panthera pardus) or Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis). Read the second last paragraph of the above report. If they are Leopard Cats then its an interesting report for Punjab. Leopard Cats have never been encountered in Punjab before. But, Leopard are still believed to be found in the Salt Range. Below, I am adding the pictures of both the Leopard and the Leopard Cat)
Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:54 AM
Five Hazara leopards killed, bodies burnt
By Naveed Ahmad
ISLAMABAD: Five leopards were killed in two separate incidents in the Abbottabad and the Hazara districts and later their corpses were burnt by nomads from Kaghan and northern Hazara.
One of these leopards was killed near Bagra game reserve in the Haripur district, which was reportedly “thirsty and appeared sick”. :swear: Local villagers shot it dead when it approached a small stream in the Jabi hamlet located in the Bandi Sher Khan union council, said local wildlife conservationists.
According to the locals interviewed by the conservationists, the Kaghani nomads, living near the Jabri village, poisoned four other leopards in the forest near the village of Khora. The dead felines include a 10-year-old male leopard, a female and their two two-year-old cubs.
None of the WWF and NWFP wildlife officials returned repeated telephone calls from The News to give their version on the incident. The forest department officials were, however, unaware of both these incidents. The range officer of the Wildlife Department was also not accessible for comments. :swear:
Wasi-ur-Rehman, Coordinator of the Dubran Welfare and Conservation Society (DAWCS), Abbottabad, who was the first to discover the killings, visited the area and interviewed the people living near the protected forest. He confirmed to The News that the corpses could not be traced because the nomads burnt them to hide their crime.
The poison is used by the Kaghani nomads to protect themselves and their cattle from the beasts’ attack. However, there has been no report of killing of any cattle this season by the big cats.
Every winter, the nomads from Kaghan and northern Hazara regions normally descend to lower altitudes for want of cattle fodder and to evade harsh weather on the snow-clad mountain peaks. Though, temporary or permanent settlements in the forest reserves are illegal, the nomads somehow make their way through.
This year too, the nomads are camping around Dubran, Jabri and surrounding villages, where they find enough grass to grazing their herds in the government’s reserved forests. According to environmentalists, when nomads enter any forest, they graze cattle on small plants, and cut larger trees to build shelters. Their herds include dozens of animals such as goats, sheep and mules.
The leopard is found in almost every forest of Hazara, including the Margallah and the Murree hills.
Different families of leopards are spotted in the surroundings of Haro river — two in the Sarla reserve forest, three to four in the Margallah hills park, two in the Siribang area, three to four in the Dubran area, one to two in the Massah Gojari area of Kohala Lassan reserve forest, two to four in the Satoura and the Rahi area, 15 to 25 leopards in the Ayubia National Park and the Murree Hills while one to two leopards on the Havelian Cantt suburbs.
Responding to a question as to why these animals enter the residential areas, grazing lands, grass fields and roadside areas, the conservationists have a very simple answer: “Shrinking habitats and presence of privately protected forests near the villages and roads.”
Among the causes of shrinking habitats, the top-most remains the fuel wood pressure reducing the reserved forests to minimum, overgrazing by the nomads and last but not the least the timber smugglers.
Wasi recalled that in January 2005 a female leopard with two cubs entered a private protected area near Ghandian village near Haripur. One of the cubs was shot dead while the other two narrowly escaped. :swear: :swear:
Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:22 PM
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE, Jan 22: An Indian swamp deer was added to a herd of four others at the Jallo Wildlife Park on Monday. The deer was caught by the Rangers at the border area near Shakargarh. It is the fifth deer which crossed into the Pakistan from India in three years. These deer were caught from bordering areas near Ganda Singh, Narowal, Kanganpur and Sharaqpur.
Punjab Wildlife Department (PWD) officials told Dawn such deer were found in the riveran area between the Bias and Ravi rivers in India. They said one deer cost Rs2 million.
Wildlife assistant director Anwar Maan told Dawn the department would breed the deer and supply the animal to other zoos and parks in the country.
Punjab Wildlife director general Imtiaz Tajwar thanked Rangers director general Hussain Mehdi for handing over the deer to the department.
Mr Maan said the Jallo Park also housed a variety of birds, including pheasants and peafowl. He said the breeding of birds had touched 1,800, a record in the last two decades.
He said the department was planning to release a large number of pheasants in Doag Talian for shooting next month. One can participate in the shooting after paying a fee yet to be decided.
He said that a pair of giraffes would also be housed at Jallo Park while three more giraffes would be bought from Africa. He said one giraffe would be given to the Lahore Zoo as there had been no giraffe there for the last decade.
The Wildlife department has also filed a case against Ganda Singh villagers who had caught and slaughtered one such swamp deer some time ago.
The horns of a swamp deer are considered precious.
Posted 25 January 2007 - 11:09 AM
PESHAWAR: A female black bear gave birth to two cubs at the Kund Park Bear Centre established on the confluence of the Indus and Kabul rivers in Nowshera.
“The bear was expected to deliver the cubs in February but unexpectedly gave birth on January 15 at the sanctuary where eight bears are already present,” said Dr Mumtaz Malik, the NWFP Wildlife Department chief conservator, on Tuesday. “The older cub is healthy and normal while the younger one died soon after birth,” he said. :sad: :sad:
Dr Malik, who is also the Anti-Bear Baiting Programme national coordinator, said that a female bear normally gives birth in February or March during hibernation, after mating in October.
“We have pitched a tent near the centre to closely monitor the bear’s movements in addition to paying special attention to their other requirements,” he said, adding that the newborn cub would be released in the forest habitat after turning one. The bear centre, which was established over an area of 12 acres by the NWFP wildlife department with assistance of the Wild Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), is a unique facility in Pakistan where abandoned bears are sheltered.
Dr Mumtaz said that most bears in the sanctuary were Asiatic black bears while some were brown bears. The first bear, saved from a bear-baiting event, was taken to the sanctuary in 2001, he said.
The wildlife department has taken several steps for the protection and conservation of bears, said Dr Mumtaz, adding that an information centre at the Kund centre had also been set up to educate people, especially students, about bears and other wild animals. app
Posted 25 January 2007 - 01:05 PM
Posted 26 January 2007 - 10:05 AM
Indian deer caught
LAHORE, Jan 25: Punjab Wildlife Department officials on Thursday caught another swamp deer from the border area between Burki and Harbanspura. With the latest addition, the number of swamp deer caught from the border area has reached six.
Sources said the deer was crossing into Pakistan's territory when district wildlife officer Javed and inspector Shahzad shot him with a dart. The newly caught deer is male and one year old, they said.
A senior wildlife official said one swamp deer cost around Rs2 million in international market and now the department had swamp deer worth Rs12 million.
He said that the department had advertised a month ago that it wanted to buy swamp deer.
He said that the department would hold a ceremony soon to honour those wildlife officials who caught these deer from different border areas. —Staff Reporter
Posted 26 January 2007 - 12:59 PM
Posted 04 February 2007 - 03:15 PM
By our correspondent
A two-day workshop was held by the Hingol National Park Management on “Scientific surveys for park management plan” at a local hotel on Friday. The event was organised by the Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department.
The workshop was held to share the scientific findings by researchers and scientists from their surveys in the park area, which includes vegetation, birds, large mammals, small mammals, crocodiles, marine resources and coastal zone etc.
Abdul Jabbar, the Director of Hingol park, said that the park has been developed to its fullest with deserts, sea and wildlife all present within the reserve. “Since it’s a national park with all these things present, we conducted proper surveys and research for future maintenance of this park” he said.
The park is the largest national park in Pakistan with integrated terrestrial and marine habitats. The Hingol River, the largest river outside the Indus river system forms the integrated link between mountains, valleys, coastal sand, dune areas, estuary and the Arabian Sea. The park is located in the districts of Awaran, Lasbela and Gwadar. The development of the Mekran coastal highway linking Karachi with Gwadar harbour and industrial development zone has given a new impetus to the region and has linked the Hingol National Park in a modern infrastructure framework.
Chief technical advisor and park specialist Hingol Park Jan Wind said that the surveys have revealed that the park has species such as the Sindh Ibex, Afghan Urial, Partridges, Houbara Bustard, Bengal fox, Indian cobra and a lot of migratory birds. “Though a lot of research can still be done, major income can be generated from trophy hunting and later from international tourists and tourism,” he said.
The presentations also revealed that coastal development activities, oil exploration by the government, lack of awareness and climate change pose threat to the marine species within the boundaries of the park. Other than that, the surveys about the park management revealed a greater need for better roads within park’s premises..
Also participating in the workshop were the Balochistan Forest and wildlife department, Hingol National Park, Ministry of Environment Islamabad, Sindh forest department, World Wide Fund for Nature, University of Karachi and Hingol National Park Management.
Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:27 AM
By Fareedullah Chaudhry
LAYYAH, Feb 18: Hundreds of hunters are camping at various spots near the river Indus to catch the turtles to mint money by selling them in the local and international market.
According to a survey conducted by Dawn, five hunting teams each of which comprises 30 to 50 members from Sindh, the NWFP and Punjab have set up camps at various spots of the riverine union councils, including Samitia, Warah Sehran, Basera, Sahuwala, Shahpur, Kotla Haji Shah, Lohaunch Nashaib, Jhakhar, Jaman Shah, Kot Sultan and Bait Wasawa Shumali.
These teams have devised special mechanism for catching a turtle species (Cinosternum pennsylvancium). They have prepared fodder which they leave in water as bait.
Hunters turn the turtle upside down with bamboo stick and capture it by pricking lance-like weapon into its lower belly. They collect the daily catch at a makeshift collection centre from where buyers from Lahore purchase the turtles and transport these to Lahore.
According to the locals, each team manages to catch around 500 turtles daily. These teams have hired local guides against daily wages. Hunters Amanullah and Muneer Khan, who had come from Dera Ismail Khan for the purpose, said they got Rs200 to Rs300 according to the size of a turtle from a Lahore-based buyer who had links with international buyers in China, Japan and Korea.
Mr Taqi Shah, an ecologist, expressed concern over the large-scale stalking of this “unique marine species”. He said it might face extinction if the practice was not stopped. When contacted, District Wildlife Officer Khuda Bakhsh said the department had moved a summary to amend the act that prohibited the turtle hunting. He said strict measures would be taken against the hunters to protect the endangered species.
Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:38 AM
By Salman Khan
LAHORE, Feb 18: Freshwater and marine turtle species in the country are currently facing more threat to their lives than ever before owing to apathy of nomadic hunting communities along the rivers and the government departments concerned.
Today death laughs at the helplessness of this aquatic creature which is reckoned to be the oldest of the organisms on the earth and which is facing the constant threat of illegal hunting for meat and shells.
The select few parts of the turtles are being illegally exported to the countries like China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and Korea where these serve many purposes and form part of human consumption either in the form of medicines or as meat.
It is learnt that the soft shells and chest pellicles of the turtles are being used by the manufacturers of the Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). The TCM practitioners believe that the turtle shells are highly effective for purifying blood and curing many diseases.
Information gleaned by Dawn reveals that there is no dependable count to assess the exact loss of the endangered species, though the official estimates as documented by some institutions from time to time amply show that the day is not far when the turtles will face extinction much to the detriment of the ecological system.
According to conservationists, turtles and tortoises play a vital role at the ecological stage and the former’s loss will create a void that will be hard to fill by other species. Thus, the unscrupulous turtle-hunt becomes a concession which the future will deplore.
A study conducted by the WWF-Pakistan at the Taunsa Wildlife Sanctuary as a part of the ecological baseline draws a horrific picture of brutality the turtles are subjected to. Led by Dr Khalid Baig, who had been one of the consultants for the WWF-Pakistan, it explores the motive behind the gruesome act and how the hunting communities commit the harshest brutality for petty consideration.
The report says: “A number of people living in the riverine belts camp for months together at the bank of a canal at the Taunsa Barrage where they hunt the turtles from the wild and supply them to some traders in Lahore.”
Quoting one of the hunters, it says, tens of similar groups are operating all over the country in the same business. The most gruesome aspect of this story is that they kill turtles only to obtain a small hinder part of the carapace of soft shell turtles known in scientific terminology as “Aspederatus gangaticus” and “Chitra indica”.
“These cruel people nail the live turtle with an arrow, chop the required part of its body and throw it there to die. After obtaining the required part, they boil them in the container, clean them and finally dry them. The finished form changes into a shape that even an experienced herpetologist can hardly identify it as a turtle part,” explains the report.
It further points out that the buyers pay Rs200 for a piece of turtle having over two-foot carapace and Rs100 for small turtles.
Estimates given by the collectors reveal in the research that one group of people can manage to collect over 200 turtles every week from one site. One can imagine the possibility of the survival of any turtle when the group uses to camp at one site for months, it adds.
Ms Uzma Khan, species focal person (WWF-Pakistan), told Dawn that there was no data available to confirm the exact number of turtles the country was losing to illegal trade since it was hardly considered a priority species.
However, she said, Pakistan was a signatory to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) which envisaged protection of the freshwater and marine turtle species in the country. The situation had assumed alarming proportions, and concerted efforts were the only way to stem the tide.
She said the WWF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, had launched the Pakistan Wetlands Programme the chief purpose of which was to take stock of the magnitude of the illegal trade and consequential loss to nature. Among other objectives, she said, the PWP focused on the training of the customs officials to enable them to identify the parts of the turtles at checkpoints. The programme is funded by the UNDP and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
According to the draft of the conservation plan being drawn up under the programme, all eight species of freshwater turtles in Pakistan are under threat of illegal hunting for meat and shells. It says the freshwater turtles are protected by legislation in Punjab and Sindh.
The study observes that in Sindh fishermen are involved in turtle hunting while in Punjab vagrant groups have been found engaged in the activity.
It says: “If a turtle meat/shell consignment is found, it is confiscated. The offender is given the option, either to go to court or solve the matter internally with the department by paying some fine. The wildlife department fines (the wrongdoer) depending on the gravity of the crime and the protection status of the area where the crime was committed.
“In court, the compensation varies and usually the offenders get away with a minor penalty. The penalties for offender are meager and the trade itself is so lucrative that it is worth taking the associated risks.”
The Punjab Wildlife Department deputy director could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by this reporter.
However, an official told Dawn that the department was alive to the situation, and it had deployed force at the airport and sea routes to check the illegal trade.
He said the activity was prohibited under the law and efforts were being made to ensure its implementation.
Poachers nail a turtle after catching it from water.—Dawn
Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:40 AM
By Amin Ahmed
ISLAMABAD, Feb 19: The capital’s Marghazar Zoo has been closed for visitors amid bird flu scare. The decision has been taken as a precautionary measures to control the spread of the Avian Influenza H5N1 bird flu strain that is suspected to have killed a dozen ducks and pea-hens over the last week, zoo officials and veterinary experts told Dawn on Monday.
Tests at referral laboratories in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi indicate the existence of the H5N1 virus in the zoo birds. However the results of the tests are yet to be received to confirm the virus.
Informed sources told Dawn that last week ducks were found dead on a pond which raised concern of the zoo officials. The dead ducks were sent to the National Reference Laboratory on the instructions of veterinary experts.
While, the zoo officials were waiting for the report, a dozen more ducks and five pea-hens also died during the last couple of days.
An expert at the National Reference Laboratory requesting not to be named, confirmed the existence of H5N1 bird flu strain that killed the zoo birds.
It is the first case of bird flu attack in a zoo and the fourth in Pakistan this year sending a wave of scare among the animal lovers.
The presence of bird flu virus in a domestic flock of turkeys and peacocks in Islamabad were confirmed on February 6.
Rawalpindi and Mansehra are the other places where the virus has been found in domestic flocks of chickens and peacocks.
According to Livestock Commissioner Dr Muhammad Afzal all the chickens in the flock of about 40 birds at a house in Rawalpindi had died or culled as a result of H5N1.
The Director of Marghazar Zoo, Raja Javed, when contacted confirmed that a dozen of ducks and five pea-hens have so far been found dead and sent to the reference laboratories in Rawalpindi and Islamabad for examination.
Mr Javed said that a mass campaign has been launched to vaccinate all species of animals and birds in the zoo as well as carrying out disinfection sprays in all cages of the zoo. The dead birds have been buried safely.
He said that the authorities have decided to close the zoo for visitors from Tuesday on the instruction of experts for monitoring and prevention of Avian influenza.
It is now almost certain that due to the outbreak of bird flu, the arrival of two pairs of zebras at the Marghazar Zoo will be delayed. The zebras were scheduled to be added to the zoo in next few days.
It has been estimated that approximately 275,000 people including children visit the zoo annually.
Last year, hundreds of thousands of flu-hit birds were culled in commercial farms in various parts of the country, causing a loss of Rs10 billion to the poultry industry.
The federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock has sought Rs1.185 billion in the next budget for monitoring and surveillance of bird flu.
The project also includes legislations that will remove hurdles in the way of forming a national level integrated strategy to control the avian flu.
In a related move, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have asked the government to come up with a project to monitor the spread of avian flu not only in animals but also in humans.
Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:51 AM
Posted 27 February 2007 - 07:48 PM
Posted 02 March 2007 - 10:36 AM
Good news!!! President Musharraf has issued a decree banning bear baiting. Also, a politician has established a 'sorta' wildlife reserve near Islamabad to protect endangered wildlife animals. The following pictures are of bears, apparently rescued from bear baiters and being taken care of.
This is great! Thanks Alam for posting these pictures. Do you have link to the article as well?
Posted 05 March 2007 - 02:43 AM
Posted 11 March 2007 - 10:37 PM
By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD, March 11: The Planning Commission expects glacial reservoirs feeding Pakistan’s irrigation system will be empty after about 50 years, resulting in up to 40 per cent permanent reduction in river flows owing to fast depletion of Himalayan glaciers.
Estimates show that an increase in global warming will be fast melting glaciers in the next 50 years. River flows would increase in these years. But after 50 years, "there is likely to be a dramatic permanent decrease in river flows by 30-40 per cent in the Indus Basin," reads a working draft of Vision 2030.
It also says that nine out of 10 general circulation models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) project during summer monsoon will increase substantially. This increase in the overall monsoonal rainfall in Pakistan is "likely to be poorly distributed" in the sense that much of the additional rainfall is likely to be in "high-intensity storm events".
Based on this premise, the Planning Commission pleads that building of major new water storages and raising of many of the existing ones will allow exploiting one positive aspect of global warming.
Posted 28 April 2007 - 11:06 PM
PESHAWAR (April 29 2007): The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NWFP, has given one-year deadline to Premier Sugar Mills, Mardan, the largest sugar mill in the country to install effluent treatment plant to prevent environmental pollution in the surrounding areas of the mill.
This was stated by Shams-ur-Rehman, a senior official of the provincial environmental protection agency while giving presentation on Global Warming and Environmental Issue in a function held in connection with World Earth Day here at the Forest Directorate.
The sugar mill, he said, is importing the plant from India, saying it would become operational shortly to resolve the long-standing environment pollution problem in Mardan. Justifying the giving of one-year grace period, he said that it has been given in light of trade restrictions between India and Pakistan.
Shams-ur-Rehman said that after the installation of the plant, the EPA would once again review the environmental situation in the area and in case of failure in control over the toxic effluent and dirty smell the agency would take stern action against the mill.
Regarding situation of environmental pollution in provincial capital, he attributed growing pollution to three factors of vehicular emission, brick kiln and industries. District Peshawar, he said has 400 brick kilns, which also burn rubber, an injurious element to human health. "The EPA is dealing such brick kilns with iron hand," he reiterated his resolve.
The level of carbon dioxide in the city is 17 PPM, however, in some places it is being recorded as 38 PPM while World Health Organisation (WHO) limit is just 9 PPM, he said.
The dust level is 10-time above the WHO level while the level of noise pollution is 90dB and in some places above 100 dB, 15dB more than WHO level of 85dB. The official said the EPA has recently installed environmental monitoring station, which records environmental data within the radius of 25-km.
According to the data recorded by the station, noise pollution in the city after 3:00 pm becomes deteriorated, while carbon monoxide pollution climbed to peak in the evening.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2007
Source: Business Recorder
Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:22 PM
LAHORE (June 04 2007): The industrial and development projects in future would have to undergo Environment Impact (EI) Assessment process to control pollution and its negative effects. The step is being taken as part of government's commitment to control pollution, official sources told APP here on Sunday.
Environment laws will be strictly implemented and disposal of untreated water will not be allowed, they said adding, implementation of these laws will be ensured without effecting industrial development.
The country is expanding its industrial base to reduce dependence on agriculture and create job opportunities, this is very crucial time to protect environment without affecting industrial growth, they said.
They said that industry will have to develop in-house treatment of effluent.
They said that industry will have to compile environment laws as it can no more ignore them after WTO regime. The government does not want to enforce these laws by using administrative arms and trying to pursue the industrialists to control air, noise and water pollution, they added.
Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2007
Source: Business Recorder
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