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Posted at: Oct 3, 2019, 1:52 PM; last updated: Oct 3, 2019, 1:52 PM (IST)

Markhor, blind dolphin no more endangered species: Pak

Markhor, blind dolphin no more endangered species: Pak
Photo for representational purpose only. iStock

Islamabad, October 3

Pakistan has claimed that Markhor and the blind dolphin, which were on the verge of extinction in the country, are no more endangered species.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Wednesday said Markhor and the blind dolphin have come out of the list of animals at risk of getting extinct, the Dawn News reported.

Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan and is found in northern areas of the country while the blind dolphin is found in the Indus River.

“Although there is no credible data of every species in the country, some species are being monitored. The Markhor and the blind dolphin have come out of the list of animals at risk of getting extinct,” Aslam said, while sharing the success story with the National Assembly Standing Committee on Climate Change.                      

Responding to a question on trophy hunting of Markhors, Joint Secretary Administration Suleman Khan told the committee said the government only issued 12 permits a year, four each for the Suleman Markhor, Kashmir Markhor and Astor Markhor.

“Markhor is the most expensive trophy in Pakistan which fetches over USD 1,00,000 per licence. Unless the authentic numbers of Markhor population are confirmed after the surveys, the government will not increase the number of permits despite considerable pressure,” the senior official said.

Khan told the committee that since 1947, the department of Zoological Survey of Pakistan has failed to conduct a survey of species in the country or prepare a red list of endangered animals,.

“There is no credible data available of all species in Pakistan. Surveys conducted by provincial departments on biodiversity did not adopt international methodologies and were merely formalities thus not accepted worldwide,” Khan said.

Spread over four years, a fresh survey will be carried out of all species, the joint secretary said, adding that the survey would be based on a standardised format. The first exercise along these lines will be launched this year, he added.

Also, the adviser to the prime minister told members that Pakistan is the only country where the once retreating mangrove forests have increased. He said plantation was a major component of the Green Clean campaign.

“While Sindh has assured the centre that it will plant one billion saplings, it was difficult to wake up Punjab forestry department from slumber. Punjab had to be pushed to commit to plant 500 million saplings despite sufficient forest sites,” the adviser said. PTI

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