Deforestation, human intervention threatens Dachigam national park in J-K

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Srinagar, Oct 18(ANI): The Dachigam National Park in Jammu and Kashmir is facing threat from deforestation, neglect in preservation, man-animal conflict and global warming, the present situation has wrecked havoc in the park, which was once well-known for its natural beauty.

Dachigam National Park is situated about 22 kms northeast from Srinagar, and covers an area of 141 square kilometres with altitude ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above sea level.

It is the only habitat for the highly endangered Hangul or Kashmir Stag. Other wild residents of the park include the Himalayan Black Bear, few species of the goat including Markhor and Ibex, Leopard and the rare snow Leopard, musk deer and the Himalayan Marmot.

The national park is now facing danger as two decades of turmoil in and around the Kashmir Valley has shorn the sanctuary of its charm.

Locals are constructing houses close to this park and wildlife authorities have failed to stop massive deforestation around the park, while global warming and encroachment into the habitat of wild animals by human beings has seen a massive rise in the past few years.

R, D Tiwari, Chief Wildlife Warden of Jammu and Kashmir, termed the man-animal conflict as a challenge "difficult to curb", and believes that the developmental needs of man in the region have risen making it a prime reason to disturb the flora and fauna of the national park.

"There is a rise in man-animal conflict. Land requirements have increased and developmental needs have increased. Interference has increased and also noise level. We need to take care of these aspects in such a way that the natural habitat does not get disturbed. Certain guidelines by State Protection by Wild life act, Central empowered Committee, Honourable Supreme Court should be followed to protect our habitat," Tiwari said.

Tiwari also wished that more awareness had to be created about the importance of nature and wildlife conservation. (ANI)

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