The animals in Pakistan are facing the ongoing threat of overhunting and poaching without any respite which has resulted in the decline of many species of them.

Howbeit, Gilgit Baltistan, being a site of tourism is also home to many species of plants and animals ,varying from ibex, blue sheep, markhor, snow leopard, wild cat, chakor, brown and black bears and so forth.

Recently, the Gilgit-Baltistan wildlife department auctioned hunting permits for 18 rare species under trophy hunting programme 2018 and 2019 especially, Astore Markhor, blue sheep and Markhor. The rate for permit of hunting Astore Markhor has been fixed at $75,000, for blue sheep $8,000 and Rs100,000 for ibex.

According to reports only the hunting of the aforementioned animals is permitted which are overage and oversize. As per as the reports, the amount received in the programe is spent on the local community by spending the money on health, education and other development projects.

However, through this I want to remind the officials that the permit of hunting can also be the cause of the decline of the population the species animals as well. Pakistan is home to many rare species of plants and animals but either their population declines owing to overhunting, trophy hunting and poaching just because of the ignorance of the officals. Their negligence has also caused the extinction of some of the unique species from the forests and mountains of the country. Studies show that every third person in Pakistan is an hunter. A vast range of plants and animals are hunted annually on a large scale whose abundance can do good to the economy of the country because of tourism.

This is of crucial importance for most of us, especially the concerned authorities to care for our natural beautifies we are bestowed upon.

ZN BALOCH,

Kolahoo, October 30.