United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Donald Blome, has said that the Leopard Preserve Zone (LPZ) in the Margalla Hills National Park is an excellent sanctuary for the preservation of wildlife in the heart of the national capital. He made these remarks during a tour of the LPZ, along with the country director of DAI, Arsalan Faheem and the Chairperson, Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), Rina Saeed Khan.
They also visited the Wildlife Rescue Centre established in the old Marghazar Zoo. During his excursion, the Ambassador said that he was thrilled to finally get this chance to visit the Margalla National Park, adding that both Pakistan and US were collaborating to support various climate resilience initiatives, focusing on biodiversity, agriculture and other areas related to environment and nature.
The IWMB staff showcased taxidermy specimens of different illegally hunted animals like Common Asian Leopard, Ibex, trophies of Mar Khor and Black Buck Dear, and pelts of Barking Deer, Red Fox, Jackal, Mongoose, Bengal Tiger, and Snow Leopard. “These pelts on the display were recently confiscated in a raid by IWMB staff at a shop in F-7 Market,” the Ambassador was told.
During the visit, the Ambassador was briefed by the Chairperson IWMB, Rina Saeed Khan and Director Wildlife IWMB, Dr Tariq, on the steps being taken by the Board to conserve the precious biodiversity in the Margalla Hills. While in the Wildlife Rescue Centre, Donald Blome observed Black Bears, Eagles, and Buzzards, that were being rehabilitated by the IWMB board. He was shown a small documentary on the Margalla Hills National Park after he hiked in the forest.
In the Leopard Preserve Zone, he was given a briefing on the live natural habitat of the wildcat. Country Director DAI, Arsalan Faheem, thanked the Ambassador for taking some time out of his busy schedule for the visit. He said that DAI was in collaboration with IWMB and NDRMF to preserve the endangered species of the Margalla Hills. He added, “Pakistan is looking for a new identity and has rich natural preserves.
Margalla Hills National Park can become a model in Islamabad to change human behaviour towards nature across the country and the world.” He concluded by saying that the “Board has a committed team to protect the National Park, which is working around the clock to make sure that conservation efforts remain fruitful.”
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk