CHITRAL, Aug 2: Conservationists have called upon the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to provide funds for continuing Baroghil National Park project to ensure conservation of a number of species of mammals, including snow leopard, Himalayan ibex, brown bear, wolf, red fox and lynx. The park established by the wildlife department three years ago to conserve endangered spices of mammals and plants was wound up on June 30 last when the provincial government did not extend the project after consumption of initial funds.

Talking to Dawn here, a conservation worker attached with an NGO Riaz Ahmed said that Baroghil bordered Wakhan corridors of Afghanistan and was the starting point of Chitral river.

He said that the area was best suited to support a rich biodiversity due to its numerous lakes, ponds, river beds, wetlands, streams and rich vegetation. Besides, it is considered the starting point of Indus flyway giving entry to Siberian migratory birds.

Mr Ahmed said that many species of mammals were facing extinction when the conservation scientists persuaded the government to establish the national park in the area. He said that the community had been mobilised and energised to participate in conservation work by organising them into a village conservation committee.

An official of wildlife said that one range officer, two deputy rangers and three watchers were engaged in the national park project while 10 community watchers had been appointed. He said that the provincial government did not approve the schedule of new expenditure (SNE), seeking extension of the project and creation of new posts.

The official and conservationists said that if the project was not revived the conservation process would be affected badly.

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