Conservation of globally important populations of highly-threatened species through the creation of new, community-managed protected areas in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan
by Dr. Amjad Tahir Virk
WCS-Pakistan, with a grant support from Van Tienhoven Foundation, is implementing a one-year project, which aims at conserving critically fragmented populations of highly-threatened species of mountain ungulates (flare-horned markhor, Ladakh urial, and musk deer) and endangered snow leopard through creation of community-managed protected areas in Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan.
The project area is considered a biodiversity hotspot and falls at the confluence point of world’s three highest mountain ranges—Karakorum, Himalayas, and Hindukush. The major outcomes of the Project include strengthened community governance structures and local capacities, community-driven wildlife monitoring and patrolling system, current status of mountain ungulate populations assessed, and species recovery plans developed for sustainably managing threatened mountain ungulate populations. It is expected that the successful implementation of the project will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity of global significance.