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03 May 2024, 11:32

UN General Assembly declares May 24 as int’l day of Markhor, Pakistan’s national animal

UNITED NATIONS, 3 May (BelTA - APP) - The UN General Assembly Thursday adopted a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan and 8 other countries,  to proclaim May 24 as the International Day of the Markhor.

The resolution invites worldwide observance of the Day and invites all relevant stakeholders to give due consideration to enhancing international and regional cooperation in support of efforts to conserve the Markhor, given its role in the overall ecosystem.

The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan, where it is also known as “screw-horned goat.”
The resolution invites the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to facilitate the observance of the International Day of the Markhor.

The text underlines that the Markhor is an iconic and ecologically significant species found across the mountainous regions of Central and South Asia.

It recognizes that preserving the Markhor and its natural habitat is an ecological imperative and a significant opportunity to bolster the regional economy, foster conservation efforts and promote sustainable tourism and economic growth.
In Pakistan, Markhors are found in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province’s Chitral, Kohistan and Kalam regions, as well as the Gilgit-Baltistan region, the Balochistan province and parts of Azad Kashmir.

Once believed to be on the brink of extinction, Markhor numbers have gradually increased, doubling in a couple of decades, with a particular jump since 2014.

This is now the 10th straight year that numbers of the long-horned wild goat have grown.

“The population of the Markhor has been increasing with an annual ratio of 2% since 2014,” Saeed Abbas, an official with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Pakistan, was quoted as saying in a media interview.

The Markhor’s current estimated population is between 3,500 and 5,000, a majority of them in KP, followed by Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan, according to Abbas. 
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