PESHAWAR: The wildlife department on Thursday fetched $597,200 through the award of annual markhor and ibex trophy hunting permits to different bidders to be hunted this winter.

The highest bidder offered $160,250 for a single markhor to be hunted in Toshi-I game reserve in Chitral district here on Thursday.

According to an official statement, registered outfitters from Pakistan, including an international bidder (Turkish Lady), participated in the bidding.

The highest bid was offered by Mehran Safari for $160,250 for a single markhor to be hunted in Toshi-I area.

This is the highest rate ever offered in the history of markhor trophy hunting, said the statement.

The second highest bid offered by Shikar Safari for $155,100 for a single markhor to be hunted in Toshi-II, Chitral.

Similarly, the third highest bid was offered by Shikar Safari for $135,150 for a single markhor to be hunted at Keigah, Kohistan, whereas the fourth highest bid was offered by Shikar Safari for $125100 for a single markhor to be hunted in Gehrait, Chitral.

Furthermore, highest bid received for the associated species of markhor i.e. Himalayan Ibex is $3600.

The wildlife department issues permits to selected bidders for trophy hunting of markhor and other species.

The statement said 80 per cent of the proceeds from the trophy hunting programme were distributed to the local communities, while the funds were transferred to their bank accounts for community development and wildlife conservation activities in the respective villages.

FALCONS SEIZED: The wildlife division Dera Ismail Khan has seized three Peregrine falcons at Daraban checkpost from bird smuggler Hizar Hayat of Zhob district of Balochistan.

An official statement said that the three birds were being smuggled from Balochistan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A case has been registered against the offender under the provisions of wildlife and biodiversity act, 2015.

In an another case, officials of the wildlife department of Khyber tribal district seized two Peregrine falcons at Torkham checkpost on Wednesday night. The two birds were being smuggled from Afghanistan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These birds will be also released in suitable habitat.

Peregrine falcon is highly endangered migratory bird, which is protected under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife and Biodiversity Act, 2015.

Estimated value of these confiscated falcons are millions of rupees and such confiscation and release back into wilderness is a concrete step to discourage the smugglers involved in illegal trade of wildlife.

The falcon trapping, import and export has been banned since 2005 due to their dwindling population in the wild.

The species is protected under the law, while its import and export is discouraged under international treaties and conventions, especially Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora.

Published in Dawn, November 5th, 2021

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