Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Management Board approves Management Plan for Central Karakoram National Park

26 February 2015- 4:00| Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN
Final approval of the Management Plan for Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) Gilgit-Baltistan has been given in the 4th meeting of Gilgit-Baltistan Wildlife Management Board held on 26 February 2015 under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan in Conference Hall Gilgit. Meeting was participated by the Secretary Forests, Wildlife and Parks Gilgit-Baltistan, Secretary Tourism, Sports, Culture and Youth Affaires, Conservator Parks and Wildlife Gilgit-Baltistan, Director CKNP, representatives from Planning and Development Department as well as other relevant line departments. During the meeting Management Plan was presented to the board members. CKNP management plan document was prepared and completed by EvK2CNR and Directorate of CKNP during the last 5 years in the framework of KT-II and SEED projects with the contribution of the SEED project partner organizations, Forest, Parks and Environment Department GB and other line departments, various researchers form Italian universities and KIU. It was accomplished in 4 steps including Preliminary studies in Step- 1, Research and Planning in Step-2, Consultation and final document development in step-3 and Monitoring and revising in step-4. Planning process was started in 2009. In June 2012 initial findings were shared. June 2012 to 13 planning continued also taking into consideration the feedback received from the International workshop held at Islamabad in November 2012. In March 2013 Draft of the 1.1 version presented to the Government of GB in Gilgit and in November 2013 provisional approval was given by the Government. In the meanwhile from March 2013 to April 2014 communities and stakeholders were consulted and document was shared with the communities feedback was received and incorporated into the document. On these bases Management Plan integration and Operational Document was also developed and presented where interventions about 10 sectors have been identified which includes Wildlife, Vegetation, Tourism, Aromatic/medicinal plants and Non-wood forest products, Pastures and Livestock, , Mining, water, Local communities involvement, Research and agriculture. This Management Plan is a comprehensive document having major contents in 4 parts including as Part – 1: Baseline for the Management Plan, Part-2: Park Management Guidelines, Part-3: Thematic Management Guidelines and Part 4: Research Protocol. During the session the document was appreciated and considered as an incredible milestone for the sustainable management of the largest protected area of Pakistan.

Management Plan Book

Visit of Minister Forests, Wildlife, Environment and Finance Gilgit-Baltistan to CKNP Headquarters Skardu

20 February 2015- 1:40| Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN


Honorable Minister Forests, Wildlife, Environment and Finance Gilgit-Baltistan Haji Sanaullah visited the Directorate of Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP headquarters) Skardu today on February 20, 2015. Conservator Forests Baltistan, Divisional Forest Officer Skardu, Divisional Forest Officer Wildlife and other officials were also present during the visit to CKNP. Honorable Minister was warmly welcomed to the Headquarters by the Director CKNP and Staff. Minister Forests met with all staff during the visit. Joint efforts of CKNP and EvK2CNR for the better management of the largest Protected Area of Pakistan were discussed and appreciated during the session. Director CKNP, Abid Ali gave a detailed presentation to the honorable minister. During the briefing activities of CKNP as well as partner organizations in the framework of PC-I, SEED and other projects were presented to him. Salient features of the “Park between Earth and Sky”, Integrated Park Management Plan for CKNP, “CKNP Waste Management Fee” were also explained. Director CKNP threw light on the next phase of the PC-I for the sustainability of the interventions carried out or in progress under PC-I, SEED project as well as other partner organizations EvK2CNR, WWF-P, AKRSP and MGPO.

2066 Ibex, 149 Markhor and 51 Ladakh Urial have been sighted in CKNP valleys during winter wildlife assessment from December 17, 2014 to January 12, 2015

16 February 2015- 2:00 | Author Yasir Abbas | SKARDU PAKISTAN


2266 ungulates have been sighted in CKNP valleys during the winter seasonal wildlife assessments in about 24 valleys in 4 Districts from December 17, 2014 to January 12, 2015. Among the total; Ibex were 2066, Markhor 149 and Ladakh Urial 51. Himalayan Ibex is widely distributed in all over the park valleys having maximum population in Hushey, Thalley, Baraldo and Hisper while Astor Markhor is confined only to Haramosh, Danyore-Juglot Gooro (District Gilgit) and Shanas area (Skandarabad-District Hunza Nagar). Ladakh Urial population is also confined only to one Catchment Division in North eastern part of park i.e Dumurdo Upper Braldo Shigar valley. Assessment was conducted through field staff as per Plan developed, keeping in view the CKNP standard wildlife research and monitoring Protocol. In Hopper valley survey was carried out jointly with WWF-P Gilgit while in rest of the planed valleys by CKNP field staff in collaboration with Department of Wildlife Gilgit-Baltistan and respective VCC/LSO representatives. As per CKNP Standard Protocol wildlife is assessed frequently every month and seasonal surveys are conducted twice a year in winter (December/January) and spring (April/May) aimed to provide a reliable monitoring of populations of large mammals, to assess their conservational status and to potentially plan trophy hunting activities. As an understanding of ecological and conservational principles, as well as reliable ecological data, are fundamental requirements for successful conservation and management actions. Information on population size and distribution of a species is important to assess its status, i.e. declining, or stable, or increasing. If numbers of a population are known, its management could be properly addressed. This action is particularly important for a protected area like CKNP where several “threatened” species are present and subjected to moderate trophy hunting as well in future.

CKNP game watchers have been trained and made capable in wildlife monitoring and standard methods for data collection as Standardized long term series of data are indeed vital for management purposes as well as to know the status. Game watchers have been provided with binoculars, a compass, a GPS, Spotting scope (only to potential valleys staff), data sheets and other required field gears like sleeping bags, rucksacks, jackets, shoes etc. They visit monthly each valley/sub-valley, always in the same sequence; monthly counts of ibex, using the prescribed format of field sheet and geo-referencing the location of each sighting. For each direct observation, number of individuals and group structure is also noted down.  Data is collected on winter mortality of wild ungulates, on the basis of carcasses found in the following spring season, using the prescribed data sheet. Presence of Carnivores and Predation is also assessed through prescribed formats provided to Game watchers for better management by introducing Livestock insurance and vaccination schemes. Staff corresponds the field observations to the Ecologist and on the basis; a proper database is being built on distribution, movements and minimum numbers of ungulates and other “prey” species in the Park valleys.

RESULTS OF WINTER WILDLIFE ASSESSMENT IN CKNP

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