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Wildlife dept collecting animal species’ data

Wildlife dept collecting animal species’ data

LAHORE: Punjab wildlife and parks department is for the first time preparing a comprehensive database of wild birds, reptiles and mammalian species in the province for forming better conservation strategies and monitoring population of various species.

For the purpose, the department’s all deputy and assistant directors and district wildlife officers have started working on the database across Punjab.

Prior to this the department had no such centralised general database. Only the Punjab Wildlife Research Center at Gutwala used to conduct selective habitat researches on different animal species.

However, according to officials, this initiative will not only help the department in formulation of effective conservation strategies but also provide it with periodical data on increase or decrease in the number of various animal species.

Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department Director General Khalid Ayaz Khan said, “Census of wildlife species, carrying capacity of habitats and population status of indicator species was required to formulate future conservation strategies. Moreover, such database would help us in drawing a comparison of the number of species year wise”.

Deputy Director (headquarters) Naeem Bhatti said: “Every wildlife officer concerned shall compile a weekly district-wise report that will be submitted to the focal person, Dr Anwar Hussain Gill, working as deputy director, Lahore region”.

He said while working on the database, the department officials would also report on shops and sale points dealing in various wildlife species to the headquarters. They would also mention whether these outlets were licensed or not.

He said the officials would display GIS maps of protected areas (if any) falling in their jurisdiction, including sanctuaries, game reserves or national parks.

The proforma provided to the field officers (available in both Urdu and English) for collecting the data includes columns about weather conditions, nature of habitat forest, plantation, agriculture area, desert, river belt or wetland etc in the observed area.

The survey would also help the department take measures in certain habitats showing low number of animals of a particular species in the wild so that their population could be improved by adopting various methods.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2015

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