The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department is focusing on public awareness as implementation of the relevant laws for ensuring protection of wild species in biodiversity rich Newly Merged Districts is found to be very challenging. “The policy of imposing restrictions and charging of fines over violation cannot achieve the desired goals of preserving wild fauna in a region which is full of biodiversity but remained out of the bound of Wildlife Protection Laws for about 60 years,” observed Abdul Haleem, Divisional Forest Office (DFO) Wildlife Khyber District.
The effective procedure of gaining public cooperation for biodiversity conservation in such locations is only to educate people about importance of flora and fauna, he opined while talking with APP. In response to a question about killing of four leopards in a short span of couple of months in mountainous region of Khyber district, Abdul Haleem said it also reflected good number of big cats in the region.
The killing of leopard through poisoning and shooting is in retaliation of livestock depredation in the area, Haleem added. The killer of two leopard cubs in Tirah was arrested by Wildlife Department soon after the incident through involvement of local police. However, soon after the arrest, a mob of locals reached outside police station and forced law enforcers for release of the detainee, Haleem shared.
Adherence to laws by people of the region needs time and capacity building on which Wildlife Department is focusing through display of billboards at different locations, he added.—APP