Kashmir Wildlife Flourishes as People Scared Out of Forests by Insurgency, Hunters Give Over Guns

indian leopard photo

photo: Brian Scott via flickr.

Most of the time war and civil turmoil means bad news for wildlife and the environment -- witness what's happened recently in Madagascar -- but apparently the now decades-long, on again/off again conflict in Kashmir has helped wildlife flourished. That's the word from the Economic Times:Rashiq Naqash, wildlife warden for Kashmir, says

For fear of being caught in exchanges of fire between militants and the [Indian] security forces, no one dared to venture deep into the forests in the past twenty years. Also, local hunters were ordered to hand in their guns. The impact is visible, there has been a manifold increase in wildlife.

kashmir forest photo

photo: Tony George via flickr

The original article says rare birds such as black partridge and pheasants have "increased in thousands." Leopards, musk deer and other species "now roam the disputed Himalayan region's pine forests."

More specifically, populations of the threatened Asian black bear have increased from about 700 twenty years ago to perhaps 3,000 today.

Of course it'd be great if wildlife populations increased without 50,000 people being killed in an ongoing insurgency, the origins of which stem back sixty years, but I suppose there's some small (and pretty tarnished) silver lining in all this....

via: Economic Times
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