Population of Markhor declines in Shopian sanctuary

Shopian: Population of Himalayan goat, Markhor, in Shopian’s Hirpora wildlife sanctuary has reached to its lowest leaving the animal on the verge of extinction.
A wildlife Trust of India (WTI) official Riyaz Ahmad, who is supervising the revival of Markhor project, told Kashmir Reader that about 25-30 animals were spotted in the sanctuary.
This is a decline from 2014 census when 35 endangered animals were found in the sanctuary. According to 2003 census, 75 Markhor were in the Hirpora sanctuary.
Apart from construction activities in the sanctuary, uncontrolled grazing and human interference have been found among the reasons responsible for the decline.
“The number has fallen massively after the opening of Mughal Road as there is a huge human interference,” said an official of wildlife department.
The Hirpora wildlife sanctuary in south Kashmir’s Shopian is spread on 341 square kilometers of land with Markhor considered the crown of the sanctuary.
Warden of wild life sanctuary Hirpora, Intisar Suhail, however, said that the population of Markhor in the sanctuary is healthy.

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