By Mohammad Ilyas Khwaja (Goldur, Chitral)
A heard of Markhor deer – mountain goat – is on the hill at the back of our homes in Goldur village, Chitral town. Markhor is also the national animal of our country.
Because of the appropriate measures taken to save wildlife in the national park of Chitral Gol, these species are well preserved. We had heard from our elders that Markhors used to climb down to the town in old days and drank water from the brooks.
Now that days have revived and these goats climb down to the extent of habitation. Their number being protected has increased so much that to the extent of many a folds.
As every useful drug carries side effects, similar is the case with all artificial measures. The excess in the number of these goats in a small national park has negatively affected the Chitral Gol jungle trees especially that of oak and pine.
Young plants and the grown up oaks are all destroyed by these markhors who having scanty food for their large number, eat over even the barks of trees and the oaks are damaged.
Moreover, newly trees planted in the jungle and adjacent areas are to be allover protected in the spring and winter season.
In old times of Chitral state period also, this area has remained throughout protected through centuries and would be in the utility of the ruler who would himself hunt there at occasions or sanction an animal as an award to someone who would do the job under the supervision of state watchmen.
In this manner the number of animals were kept in balance. Now to touch or bother an animal in the national park has been declared as a sin but for human negligence towards overall jungle, what protective measures would be taken for that.