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(Updated) Status of Chiltan Markhor / Chiltan Wild Goat in Hazarganji Chiltan National Park (2022)

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Geographic & Geological Information.

The Chiltan National Hazarganji Park is located about 20km south-west of Quetta, province capital of Balochistan. National Park established for effectively preserve the habitat of Chiltan Markhor. It is wild goat specie which is endemic (Native to a certain limited area). Word Chiltan means forty (40) Parts or body in Balochi/Brohvi Language. The Chiltan Mountain comprised of 40 areas that each area has its own Geological features in respect of ridges, peaks, hills, cliffs streams steep slopes etc. Hazarganji is derived from Persian word Hazar means thousand and Ganj means treasures.it is also known as land of treasures. The spiritual value of shrine of Sufi Saint Chiltan Baba described historians and intellectuals in literature.

The area of National Park is 27421 hectares. It falls in two districts i.e. Mastung & Quetta.

The elevation of park ranges from 1680 meter near the entrance gates to 3313metre at the summit of chiltan peak. The park can be easily accessed through the following three main entrances a. Hazarganj Mastung/Quetta, b. Chlitan kanak c. kharkhasa on western bypass Quetta.

Geologically it is located in geo-syncline region i.e. an area of earth’s surface where bedrock slopes uniformly in one direction. This formed about 50 million years ago from a thick mass of sediments, mostly marine region. The main mountain ridges of park consist of sedimentary rocks dating from 200 million years ago, when the birds and mammal species appeared to around a million years ago.

Target area selected for annual survey is the Hazar Ganji Chiltan National Park. Hazar Ganji Chiltan National Park is the nearest National Park to Quetta City and now due expansion of the urbanization the Quetta City population is almost touching the western boundary of the National Park. Hazar Ganji National Park lies in two Districts Quetta and Mustang of Balochistan and was notified as National Park under Section 16 of Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act 1974 (Act – XIX of 1974). Hazar Ganji National Park was remodified by Government of Balochistan on 30th of January 1999 with a revised conserved area of 27421 hectares with recorded boundaries in notification pasted below.
Hazar Ganji Chiltan National Park is the most attractive National Park in Balochistan due to its accessibility from Quetta City and the globally known specie of Chiltan Markhor (Chiltan Goat). The Park is very concentrated by all national and provincial authorizes responsible for conservation of biodiversity and protection of endangered species in such a potential and cacheable ecosystem therefore, the area was selected by the authorities to get the updated and authentic status and condition of the natural resources of this important National Park and particularly with the perception of local population and first-hand information form the posted staff and affiliated stakeholders to facilitate the decision makers and planners for imitating the actions for sustainability of the ecosystem.

Hazar Ganji Chiltan National Park Notification

Flagship Species of National Park.

Persian Leopard.

The history of leopard was very well known to the community for decades. The key evidence is the mountain range at northern sides of national park Ispaith always known as the home of leopard. in brovi language called khalegha. In Foot prints of Persian Leopard was first seen in 2017 during rut season at Gharrak area. After that sighted many times at high cliffs. Continuous struggle of heroes of National Park sighted again on 7th May, 2021. The documentary released BBC Urdu.

Persian Leopard
Persian Leopard sighted in National Park after decades

Chiltan Markhor (Capra aegragrus chiltanensis)

Hunted almost to extinction in 1980. There were 135 Chiltan Markhors due to adverse condition the Government of Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department declared the Chiltan Range as a National Park in 1980 to protect the chiltan markhor & its habitat have received special attention primarily because it is not found any where else in the world. In 1998 World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) compiled the Management Plan and in 1999 revised the notification & extended the area of National Park at 27421 hectares including Hazarganji, Chiltan (Kanak) & Kharkhasa areas.

Straight Horn Chiltan Markhor
Straight Horn Chiltan Markhor

Main Species of Fauna & Flora.
Fauna.

Mammals.

Avis (Birsd)

Amphibians and Reptiles.

Major Species Flora.

Pistica Khanjuk(Gohan/Shinay)
Pistica Khanjuk(Gohan/Shinay)

(Updated) Status of Chiltan Markhor / Chiltan Wild Goat in Hazarganji Chiltan National Park (2022)

Threats

Chiltan range is one of the important neighborhoods of Quetta Valley that provides means to the people who dwells in or around this magnificent spur. This mountain is even remembered in traditional poetry and history. Because of its magnificence and grandeur. In reality this off shot of earth crust has always mesmerized the minds of people since pre historic time.
It provides ideal habitat to hundreds of Markhors, Sisi, Chukar and other animals assembled in flocks and herds at the mountain. Following constraints need to be rendered:

⦁ Implementation of Management Plan and Balochistan Wildlife Act 2014.

⦁ Conflicts among local tribe.

⦁ There is need to create suitable vacancies. The present scenario of insufficient number of staff may not serve the purpose.

⦁ Management of water reservoirs such as construction of check dams to increase water table and water availability in the valley.

⦁ Maintenance of available water harvesting structures, and natural springs in the spur.

⦁ Lack of communication i.e. provision of motorcycles/wakie-takie/ drone cameras to Government officials.

⦁ Excluding the grazing from the Markhor habitat in lower slopes.

Recommendations

On the basis of survey and observation following measures are recommended for the betterment of biodiversity and natural environment of the valley:
⦁ Demarcation of boundary is urgently needed to check and remove the encroachments. Furthermore, the implementation of Judgement of C.P.126/2016 is vulnerable.

⦁ Trophy hunting scheme will open a new chapter of development and prosperity in the region. The scheme will earn handsome revenue and will improve/uplift the socio-economic condition of the local community, If tribal conflicts are resolved through table talk by the Administrative Department.

⦁ Local communities have to be kept aware of scientific grazing system so that the range land in their domain may remain productive for longer period of time.
⦁ The officials posted at National Park do not have Arms and Ammunitions, Modern Binoculars, Drone Cameras and Motorcycles. They have to be equipped with these facilities for wildlife management and to stop the illegal hunting, trapping poaching & grazing etc.
⦁ The Park Management Committee should be renotify and must be empowered in respect of better conservation and scientific management.

⦁ Potential habitats of Persian Leopard should be conserved , and possibilities for launching conservation and sustainable utilization projects should be studied.
⦁ Already constructed dams should be maintained and repaired in the in National Park. Naturally occurring springs should be cleaned and developed.

⦁ Annual surveys of Markhor populations should be conducted. Population structure and mortality and fecundity rates should be monitored properly. The aerial survey could be best option because the species found sometimes in isolated and inaccessible mountains.

⦁ Ecological research to provide complete description of daily, seasonal, and yearly habitat use by the markhor should be conducted to determine the management requirements for this species. Natural predators and their relation with Markhor populations should be find out. A study to determine the effects of predation on the Markhor populations should be conducted with the help of leading research institutes in the field of wildlife sciences.

Courtesy: Nazeer Ahmed Kurd ( DCF Chiltan National Park Hazarganji Quetta Balochistan Forest and Wildlife Department.

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