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Conservation and Status of
Markhor in Pakistan
Submitted By: Sehrish Murtaza
Introduction
• The markhor is “National Animal of Pakistan.” It has perhaps the most
impressive horns of the family, with huge, spiraled, twisting horns that
are either straight or flaring in outline depending on the subspecies.
• Markhor are incredible climbers, scaling cliffs with ease and even
climbing into oak trees to feed on leaves.
• Markhor belong to the family Bovidae and sub family Caprinae and
were first described by Wagner in 1839
• The name “Markhor” apparently was derived from Persian language
meaning snake eater. The markhor has horns twisting like a snake;
therefore it got its name as Mar Akhkar”. With the passage of time, it
changed to markhor
• The species was classed by the IUCN as Endangered until 2015 when it
was down listed to Near Threatened, as their numbers have increased in
recent years by an estimated 20% for the last decade.
Biology of Markhor
• Females live in small herds with their kids and young males mature
males are solitary and join females only during the breeding season
• Markhor are diurnal feeders with the greatest activity in the early
morning and late evening, but in winter they feed intermittently
throughout the day
• They browse as well as graze, They occasionally climb into Oak trees to
consume the foliage
• Markhor eat oak leaves when the ground is covered with snow, while in
summer they feed primarily on forbs and grasses
• Female straight-horned markhor become mature at 30-36 months while
the age of first reproduction in flare-horned markhor is 24 months
• The rutting season starts in late October to early December
Distribution
• Northeastern Afghanistan
• Northern and Central Pakistan
• India (Jammu and Kashmir)
• Southern Tajikistan
• Eastern Turkmenistan
• Southern Uzbekistan
• Himalayas
Description
 Length
132 to 186 centimeters
 Weight
from 32 to 110 kg
Subspecies of Markhor
There are five-sub species of markhor are recognised by the IUCN
1.Astor markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri),
2. Bukharan markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri),
3. Kabul markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros),
4. Sulaiman markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni),
5.Kashmiri markhor (Capra falconeri Aegoceros).
Astor Markhor
• Astor markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) has large, flat horns,
branching out very widely, and then going up nearly straight with only a
half turn.
• The habitat of these animals is in the Gilgit, Skardu and Astor regions of
Northern Pakistan in the valleys which branch off from the River Indus.
• .
Bukharan Markhor
• Bukharan markhor (C. f. heptneri) is present in Afghanistan, Tajikistan,
Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan
Kabul Markhor •
• The Kabul markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) has
horns with a slight corkscrew, as well as a twist.
• The Kabul markhor survived in Afghanistan
Suleiman Markhor •
• Torghar Mountains are a conservation area
and one of the few habitats of the, straight
horned Markhor.
Kashmir Markhor
• These animals are distributed along the Chitral Valley in the
northwestern mountains of the Hindu Kush.
• Also called Pir Panjal markhor (after the Pir Panjal Range of
Kashmir) or Kashmir flare-horned markhor
In Culture
• Markhor is also represent on the logo of the ISI
• Markhor mentioned in a Pakistani computer based
animated film known as Allahyar and the legend of
markhor
REASONS TO PROTECT
a) Depreciated of Population Sources
• Hunting for meat and sport (trophies)
• Compete with domestic livestock
• Prey of wolf and snow leopard - Around
2,000 adults
REASONS TO PROTECT
Crucial role in ecosystem
• Valuable role in food web of mountains ecosystem
• Presence ensures to keep in shape both for nature and humans
REASONS TO PROTECT
REASONS TO PROTECT
c) Danger that has to face
REASONS TO PROTECT
Danger that has to face
Predation
• Humans are primary predators on Markhor. Because Markhor inhabit
very steep and inaccessible mountains habitat rarely approached by man
• Golden eagles have been reported preying on young Markhor.
• Among wild Carnivores Himalayan lynx,
• leopard cats,
• snow leopards ,
• wolves ,
• black bears are the main predators of Markhor. Because of these threats ,
the markhor possess keen eyesight and a strong sense of smell to detect
nearby predator
• Markhor are very aware of their surroundings and are on high alert for
predators. In exposed areas , they are quick to spot and flee from
predators .
DISTRIBUTION IN PAKISTAN
• In Pakistan several protected areas contain Flare-horned Markhor Khyber-
Pakhtunkhwa - Chitral District: Chitral Gol , Drosh Gol, Gahirat Gol , Goleem
Gol , Goleen Gol, Purit Gol- Chinar Gol , Tushi Swat District: Totalai
• Gilgit-Baltistan Central Karakoram National Park Gilgit District: Kargah, Naltar,
Astor District Tangir Baltistan District: Baltistan, Askor Nallah
• Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad Mauji , Qazi Nag, Hillan Poonch
District: Phala
• Only one protected area is known to contain straight-horned markhor in Pakistan:
Sheikh Buddin National Park
• The status of the subspecies in protected areas in Baluchistan is uncertain. Its
occurrence is not confirmed in Chiltan-Hazarganji National Park and there is no
reliable information for either Sasnamana or Ziarat Juniper.
• There are no reports of markhor in protected areas in Punjab
What is WWF-Pakistan doing for
the concerned species?
• The conservation efforts of markhor has suffered mostly from the
lack of basic knowledge regarding its ecological requirements,
distribution, status and the lack of a comprehensive management
strategy.
• Limited knowledge is available about the various ecological
aspects of the species which once occupied mountainous terrain
throughout its range in the northern region up to an elevation
• The conservation and effective management requires information
on population growth and structure, feeding habits and the
habitat, selection of summer and winter zones, occurrence of
disease from domestic livestock, inbreeding risks and
competition with domestic livestock.
Markhor Conservation
• In 1994 the markhor population was estimated to be approximately 700
animals and in 1997 the population was estimated to be approximately
1,300 animals
• This population increase has been due to a virtual elimination of
unauthorized hunting that has been accomplished through a private
conservation initiative, the Torghar Conservation Project which was
started in 1985. The subspecies is also found around the hill ranges of
Quetta and Ziarat
• Throughout Diamer, southern Gilgit, and Astore Districts of Gilgit-
Baltistan community based conservation programs aimed at Markhor
conservation have created over 40 community conservation
organizations and 18 registered conservancies, and trained and deployed
over 100 community rangers
• In 2020 Markhor population has increased and there are approximately
4000 markhor in country
• Markhor are now well-protected and appear to be experiencing a
significant recovery
National Parks in Pakistan for the
Conservation of Markhor
• Hazarganji Chiltan National Park (Baluchistan)
• Chitral Gol (Chitral)
• Khunjerab National Park (Gilgit Baltistan)
• Deosai National Park (Gilgit Baltistan)
Our Concern to Conservation
• Following biodiversity conservation projects were launched with a focus
on Markhor Conservation. These include:
• Protected Areas Management Project (Chitral Gol National Park)
• Trophy hunting programme in Kaigah valley -Kohistan
• Snow leopard conservation programme with focus on Markhor
conservation as prey base
• Mountain Areas Conservancy Project
we can help to save markhor by
• Supporting the awareness raising initiatives of WWF-Pakistan
• Becoming a member of WWF-Pakistan for supporting the organization
• Sharing the relevant information with the organization
•

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Markhor conservation and status in pakistan

  • 1. Conservation and Status of Markhor in Pakistan Submitted By: Sehrish Murtaza
  • 2. Introduction • The markhor is “National Animal of Pakistan.” It has perhaps the most impressive horns of the family, with huge, spiraled, twisting horns that are either straight or flaring in outline depending on the subspecies. • Markhor are incredible climbers, scaling cliffs with ease and even climbing into oak trees to feed on leaves. • Markhor belong to the family Bovidae and sub family Caprinae and were first described by Wagner in 1839 • The name “Markhor” apparently was derived from Persian language meaning snake eater. The markhor has horns twisting like a snake; therefore it got its name as Mar Akhkar”. With the passage of time, it changed to markhor • The species was classed by the IUCN as Endangered until 2015 when it was down listed to Near Threatened, as their numbers have increased in recent years by an estimated 20% for the last decade.
  • 3. Biology of Markhor • Females live in small herds with their kids and young males mature males are solitary and join females only during the breeding season • Markhor are diurnal feeders with the greatest activity in the early morning and late evening, but in winter they feed intermittently throughout the day • They browse as well as graze, They occasionally climb into Oak trees to consume the foliage • Markhor eat oak leaves when the ground is covered with snow, while in summer they feed primarily on forbs and grasses • Female straight-horned markhor become mature at 30-36 months while the age of first reproduction in flare-horned markhor is 24 months • The rutting season starts in late October to early December
  • 4. Distribution • Northeastern Afghanistan • Northern and Central Pakistan • India (Jammu and Kashmir) • Southern Tajikistan • Eastern Turkmenistan • Southern Uzbekistan • Himalayas
  • 5. Description  Length 132 to 186 centimeters  Weight from 32 to 110 kg
  • 6. Subspecies of Markhor There are five-sub species of markhor are recognised by the IUCN 1.Astor markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri), 2. Bukharan markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri), 3. Kabul markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros), 4. Sulaiman markhor (Capra falconeri jerdoni), 5.Kashmiri markhor (Capra falconeri Aegoceros).
  • 7. Astor Markhor • Astor markhor (Capra falconeri falconeri) has large, flat horns, branching out very widely, and then going up nearly straight with only a half turn. • The habitat of these animals is in the Gilgit, Skardu and Astor regions of Northern Pakistan in the valleys which branch off from the River Indus. • .
  • 8. Bukharan Markhor • Bukharan markhor (C. f. heptneri) is present in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan
  • 9. Kabul Markhor • • The Kabul markhor (Capra falconeri megaceros) has horns with a slight corkscrew, as well as a twist. • The Kabul markhor survived in Afghanistan
  • 10. Suleiman Markhor • • Torghar Mountains are a conservation area and one of the few habitats of the, straight horned Markhor.
  • 11. Kashmir Markhor • These animals are distributed along the Chitral Valley in the northwestern mountains of the Hindu Kush. • Also called Pir Panjal markhor (after the Pir Panjal Range of Kashmir) or Kashmir flare-horned markhor
  • 12. In Culture • Markhor is also represent on the logo of the ISI • Markhor mentioned in a Pakistani computer based animated film known as Allahyar and the legend of markhor
  • 13. REASONS TO PROTECT a) Depreciated of Population Sources • Hunting for meat and sport (trophies) • Compete with domestic livestock • Prey of wolf and snow leopard - Around 2,000 adults
  • 14. REASONS TO PROTECT Crucial role in ecosystem • Valuable role in food web of mountains ecosystem • Presence ensures to keep in shape both for nature and humans
  • 16. REASONS TO PROTECT c) Danger that has to face
  • 17. REASONS TO PROTECT Danger that has to face
  • 18. Predation • Humans are primary predators on Markhor. Because Markhor inhabit very steep and inaccessible mountains habitat rarely approached by man • Golden eagles have been reported preying on young Markhor. • Among wild Carnivores Himalayan lynx, • leopard cats, • snow leopards , • wolves , • black bears are the main predators of Markhor. Because of these threats , the markhor possess keen eyesight and a strong sense of smell to detect nearby predator • Markhor are very aware of their surroundings and are on high alert for predators. In exposed areas , they are quick to spot and flee from predators .
  • 19. DISTRIBUTION IN PAKISTAN • In Pakistan several protected areas contain Flare-horned Markhor Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa - Chitral District: Chitral Gol , Drosh Gol, Gahirat Gol , Goleem Gol , Goleen Gol, Purit Gol- Chinar Gol , Tushi Swat District: Totalai • Gilgit-Baltistan Central Karakoram National Park Gilgit District: Kargah, Naltar, Astor District Tangir Baltistan District: Baltistan, Askor Nallah • Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad Mauji , Qazi Nag, Hillan Poonch District: Phala • Only one protected area is known to contain straight-horned markhor in Pakistan: Sheikh Buddin National Park • The status of the subspecies in protected areas in Baluchistan is uncertain. Its occurrence is not confirmed in Chiltan-Hazarganji National Park and there is no reliable information for either Sasnamana or Ziarat Juniper. • There are no reports of markhor in protected areas in Punjab
  • 20. What is WWF-Pakistan doing for the concerned species? • The conservation efforts of markhor has suffered mostly from the lack of basic knowledge regarding its ecological requirements, distribution, status and the lack of a comprehensive management strategy. • Limited knowledge is available about the various ecological aspects of the species which once occupied mountainous terrain throughout its range in the northern region up to an elevation • The conservation and effective management requires information on population growth and structure, feeding habits and the habitat, selection of summer and winter zones, occurrence of disease from domestic livestock, inbreeding risks and competition with domestic livestock.
  • 21. Markhor Conservation • In 1994 the markhor population was estimated to be approximately 700 animals and in 1997 the population was estimated to be approximately 1,300 animals • This population increase has been due to a virtual elimination of unauthorized hunting that has been accomplished through a private conservation initiative, the Torghar Conservation Project which was started in 1985. The subspecies is also found around the hill ranges of Quetta and Ziarat • Throughout Diamer, southern Gilgit, and Astore Districts of Gilgit- Baltistan community based conservation programs aimed at Markhor conservation have created over 40 community conservation organizations and 18 registered conservancies, and trained and deployed over 100 community rangers • In 2020 Markhor population has increased and there are approximately 4000 markhor in country • Markhor are now well-protected and appear to be experiencing a significant recovery
  • 22.
  • 23. National Parks in Pakistan for the Conservation of Markhor • Hazarganji Chiltan National Park (Baluchistan) • Chitral Gol (Chitral) • Khunjerab National Park (Gilgit Baltistan) • Deosai National Park (Gilgit Baltistan)
  • 24. Our Concern to Conservation • Following biodiversity conservation projects were launched with a focus on Markhor Conservation. These include: • Protected Areas Management Project (Chitral Gol National Park) • Trophy hunting programme in Kaigah valley -Kohistan • Snow leopard conservation programme with focus on Markhor conservation as prey base • Mountain Areas Conservancy Project we can help to save markhor by • Supporting the awareness raising initiatives of WWF-Pakistan • Becoming a member of WWF-Pakistan for supporting the organization • Sharing the relevant information with the organization •