Conservation of Himalayan Musk Deer in and Around Salkhla Game Reserve

Baseer ud din Qureshi


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4 Apr 2011

Conservation of Himalayan Musk Deer (Moschus Chrysogaster) and their Habitat in Arung Kel Neelum Valley AJK, through Research, Awareness Education and Community

Aim of the project is to conserve the endangered Himalayan Musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in Salkhla Game Reserve and surrounding areas through participatory process and conservation education and awareness.

Collecting data.

Collecting data.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir population of Musk deer is under the threat due to illegal killing for musk pod collection. Habitat degradation, livestock grazing, forest cutting and other unsustainable practices in potential habitat of musk deer are additional factors which result in decline of population of this wild ungulate.

Village Salkhla and behind the village a view of Salkhla Game reserve.

Village Salkhla and behind the village a view of Salkhla Game reserve.

Under this project research study will be conducted to collect data on the population and habitat status of musk deer in Salkhla Game Reserve and surrounding forest. For this purpose intensive survey and population estimation techniques will be used to estimate the population of musk deer in the study area. Secondary information will be collected from local knowledgeable persons through questionnaire which will be helpful to access the trend in population and threats to musk deer in the area.

Conservation awareness campaign will be undertaken in the schools of the project area. Students will be educated about the importance and conservation of wildlife and its habitat. Audio-visual material will be played in the schools and public places to develop the interest of students and general public in wildlife conservation and sustainable use. Art and essay writing competition will be conducted between the students.

Workshops will be conducted for the community living around study area in the villages for conservation awareness. Local community organizations will participate and NGOs like EHED (Environment Health and Energy for Development) will provide technical support during the workshops. As a part of awareness campaign poster and brusher will be developed and distributed among community and schools to highlight the importance of musk deer and its habitat.

A workshop will be arranged towards the end of project to develop participatory action plan for musk deer conservation. Participants would include representatives of local community and community organizations, local NGOs and officials of wildlife department. Winner students of art and essay competition will also be invited to participate in this activity to enhance their interest in musk deer conservation.

The community component of the project work will emphasize the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity resources especially the endangered species of flora and fauna in the study area.

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