CONSERVATION OF TAJIK MARKHOR (Capra falconeri heptneri) AND URIAL (Ovis vignei) IN TAJIKISTAN AND ADJACENT AFGHANISTAN

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TitleCONSERVATION OF TAJIK MARKHOR (Capra falconeri heptneri) AND URIAL (Ovis vignei) IN TAJIKISTAN AND ADJACENT AFGHANISTAN
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsMichel, Stefan
JournalGalemys
Issue22
Start Page407
Pagination407-419
ISSN1137-8700
Keywordsbiodiversity, Distribution, GIZ, population status, protection, Sustainable wildlife management, threats
AbstractIn 2008 the team of the project “Community based conservation and management of mountain ungulates in Tajikistan” started work on assessment of population status and support of conservation activities for Tajik markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) and urial (Ovis vignei) in southern Tajikistan. The distribution range of markhor is limited to an area of less than 1,500 km² in the districts Darvaz and Shuroabad along the Afghan border. The major part of the population exists in two private conservancies (each > 100) and in the strict state nature reserve Dashtijum. Outside these areas, markhor are almost extinct due to intensive poaching. Adjacent to the conservancy in Darvaz, markhor inhabits the Afghan banks of Pyanj River in small numbers but is affected by poaching. Effective protection of markhor in Tajikistan is provided by private conservancies. Although the Bukhara urial O. v. bochariensis in Soviet times was sufficiently numerous to be used for commercial hunting, nowadays only isolated groups of few dozens are scattered over the mountains of south-western Tajikistan (Surkhkuh, Aktau, Karatau, Hazratishoh). Their habitats are intensively used for livestock grazing and poaching is prevalent. So far neither protected areas nor private conservancies provide for the conservation and without urgent measures local or complete extinction is likely. In the Wakhan in Tajikistan (southern Pamirs) the urial is almost extinct. In 2008 we found only a single male, habituated to livestock, and local hunters reported the lack of observations since 2005. In the Wakhan in Afghanistan (northern Hindukush) our assessments in 2008 and 2009 showed that a population (>100) survives there. The urial population in the Wakhan seems to be linked to northern Pakistan. With support of a donor funded project in Tajikistan first community based and private initiatives are evolving for protection and management of urial, markhor and other species. Driven by growing awareness and hopes for income from wildlife management these initiatives for becoming sustainable will likely rely on benefits from the use of high value trophy animals. The population numbers of markhor would allow restricted trophy hunting for financing of protection efforts and local communities’ development needs. Tajikistan so far is not a member of CITES which, together with barriers at the national legislation and lack of appropriate benefit sharing, prevents legal sustainable use of the species. Thus there is little incentive for their conservation.
URLhttp://secem.es/galemys/index.php/Galemys/index


22.NE25 Michel 407-419.pdf