Abundance, Distribution and Conservation Status of Siberian Ibex, Marco Polo and Blue Sheep in Karakoram-Pamir Mountain Area (2016)

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This study was carried out to investigate abundance, distribution, structure and conservation status of three major ungulate species viz., Capra sibirica, Pseudois nayaur and Ovis ammon polii, in the Karakoram-Pamir mountain area between China and Pakistan. Results showed that the entire study area had a scattered but worthwhile population of Siberian ibex, Blue sheep and Marco Polo sheep, except Khunjerab Pass, Koksil-Pateshek and Barkhun areas of Khunjerab National Park (KNP). Large groups of Blue sheep were sighted in Shimshal and Barkhun valleys (KNP) but it did not show up in the Muztagh part of Taxkorgan Nature Reserve (TNR) in China. Despite scarcity of natural vegetation and extreme climate, estimated abundance of ibex and Marco Polo sheep was not different from that in Protected Areas of Nepal, China, and India, except for Blue sheep. Marco Polo sheep, Blue sheep and Snow leopard roam across international borders among China, Pakistan and other adjacent countries. Illegal hunting and poaching, removal of natural vegetation for fodder and firewood, and over grazing of pastures by livestock were main habitat issues whereas, border fencing for security reasons, has been a major impediment restricting free movement of the wildlife across international borders. A science based conservation and development strategy is proposed to restore viable wildlife populations and maintain ecological flows of Karakoram Pamir Mountains to benefit both the wild species and the local human communities.
Year: 2016
Language: English
In: Journal of King Saud University - Science 28: 216-225

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