GILGIT: At least three people were arrested on Wednesday in Nagar, Gilgit-Baltistan for illegally shooting an Ibex.
HunzaNews, November 27th, 2015.
A resident told National news paper , the incident took place in Hoper Valley on Tuesday. “Wildlife authorities were informed about the incident and the hunters were caught by members of a wildlife conservation committee,” he said.
According to another villager, members of the committee heard firing in the region. “They rushed to the site and arrested all three men,” he said. “Two of them have been identified as Hussain Ali and Muhammad Shabir who are residents of Nagar.”
A wildlife department official said the three men were also produced before a magistrate.
A penalty of Rs85,000 has been collectively imposed on them. “The fine was imposed in accordance with wildlife laws,” said the official. “The ibex’s carcass has been confiscated by the wildlife department, also as per laws.”
When contacted, G-B Forests and Wildlife Secretary Sajjad Haider confirmed the illegal hunting of the ibex and the arrest of the three men. The recent arrests come weeks after the official hunting season started in G-B under the trophy hunting campaign. Earlier, in April, a man was arrested for illegally shooting an ibex in Bar Valley of Hunza-Nagar district.
The ibex is included in trophy hunting programme held annually in the region. The programme was initiated in G-B in the early 1990s.
The hunting season begins in November and ends in April every year.
Threatened species in G-B – markhors in particular – are hunted by foreigners in return for thousands of dollars. The trophy hunting quota is decided on the basis of annual surveys conducted by wildlife experts. The cost of an animal is fixed according to the population of the species. The hunting permits for four markhors, 60 ibexes and eight blue sheep were auctioned in Gilgit this week.
Earlier, on October 31, the G-B government announced the licence fee for this year’s hunting season. Pakistan’s national animal markhor topped the list at $67,500.
The licence fees for markhors, Himalayan blue sheep and ibexes have been set at $67,500, $8,800 and $3,000, respectively.
NGOs and village conservation committees constituted by the government have been asked to ensure the protection of wild animal in valleys where trophy hunting takes place.
Published in The Express Tribune