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Ranjitsinh, M.K.; Seth, C.M.; Ahmad, R.; Bhatnagar, Y.V.; Kyarong, S.S.
Goats on the border
2005  Full Book

Pir panjal or the Kazinag Markhor _(Capra falconari cashmiriensis) _is the largest wild goat in the world found in the North - West Himalayan Biogeographic Region. Within India, Markhor is found only in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Its distribution is restricted to a handful sites viz Hirpora, Kaj-i-nag and Poonch with an estimated population of 280 - 330, as revealed through a joint survey conducted by the Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K Government, Wildlife Trust of India, New Delhi and the Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore in the year 2005, the results of which are presented in this report. Markhor, an elusive large mammal, is a Schedule-I species of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the J&K Wildlife Protection Act, 1978 (Amended upto 2002). The State of Jammu and Kashmir is committed to conserving the endangered species and to this effect, the state government has agreed to all the recommendations laid down by the National Board for Wildlife, while considering the proposal for denotification of some land of Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary for construction of the Mughal Road passing through the sanctuary. The Markhor Recovery Plan for Hirpora, Lachipora and Limber Wildlife Sanctuaries formulated by the State Wildlife Department has been endorsed by the Government of India, the Ministry of Environment & Forests. Considering all pros and cons for the survival of Markhor, the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has accorded approval to the construction of Mughal Road with some conditions, which are being observed by the State Government. An additional forest area of 150 sq.kms is being added to the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary and the areas of the 3 continuous P.As (Lachipora Wildlife Sanctuary, Limber Wildlife Sanctuary and the Naganari Conservation Areas) falling in the Kaj-i-nag Range are in the process of being upgraded as a National Park.

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