Pakistan's community-based trophy hunting programs and their relationship to snow leopard conservation (2004)

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In June-July 2004, the Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) recently conducted field visits to three important snow leopard sites in Pakistan’s Northern Areas: Hushey and Skoyo villages in Baltistan and the Khunjerab Village Organization (KVO) in Gojal. The purpose was to launch environmentally appropriate small-scale, village-based conservation and depredation alleviation initiatives aimed at protecting snow leopards, prey species, their habitats and associated mountain biodiversity, while benefiting humans at the same time.

The World Conservation Union – IUCN (Pakistan) and WWF-Pakistan have devoted special effort to ensuring that local communities have strong economic incentives to protect wildlife and the associated biodiversity. For example, all seven KVO villages within the buffer zone of Khunjerab National Park (KNP) receive 80% of annual park entrance fees and jointly participate in trophy hunting programmes, while Hushey, the Skoyo-Karabathang-Basingo (SKB) area and the Shahi Khyber Imamabad Welfare Organization (SKIWO) communities also participate in trophy hunting programmes along with receiving other tangible benefits from IUCN-Pakistan under its Mountain Areas Conservancy Project (MACP). According to local residents, populations of Asiatic or Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica) and flare-horned markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) have increased notably due to a significant reduction in poaching, much to the benefit of snow leopard whose number has also grown. However, in several areas, most notably Hushey, there appears to be a concommittent rise in incidents of snow leopards attacking domestic stock.

Trophy hunting for ibex and markhor in the Northern Areas is highly valued by local communities and acts as a major economic and conservation incentive. Thus snow leopard conservation initiatives must be designed and implemented with an understanding of how local communities perceive the cats in light of their Community-based Trophy Hunting Programs (CTHPs). The objectives of this memorandum are to:
  1. Highlight the pressing need for CTHP sponsors and managers to address the increasingly widespread perception among local communities that snow leopards are detrimental because they prey upon trophy animals (as well as domestic livestock);
  2. Encourage the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) and its partners to work closely with IUCN-Pakistan and concerned Pakistani government agencies to ensure that local communities act on the premise that income from trophy hunting should support all wildlife and biodiversity, and not just ibex or markhor conservation;
  3. Recommend that the SLN develop a Policy Statement for addressing important questions relating to trophy hunting of snow leopard prey species, including a response to the proposition that snow leopard should be included in the list of hunted species;
  4. Recommend that Pakistan acts immediately to adopt the National Snow Leopard Strategy developed by WWF-Pakistan in its present or amended form; and
  5. Encourage the sharing, through the SLN, of information on depredation alleviation measures among concerned government agencies, conservation organisations and individuals.
Year: 2004
Language: English
In: Final paper: The Snow Leopard Network (SLN) Committee on Position Statements, August 30, 2004:,



 Record created 2011-12-21, last modified 2013-01-17