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SRINAGAR: The three-day Hangul Population Estimation in the Dachigam National Park concluded here today. Apart from the Wildlife field staff, many volunteers from NGO’s including Wildlife Conservation Fund (WCF), Wildlife SOS, JKMHC, WTI participated in the Hangul census orientation training programme followed by field census exercise. Kashmir University, SKUAST, Forest Protection Force, Forest Department, Research Scholars also participated in the exercise.

The census exercise was conducted on 24, 25 and 26 March, 2017. All the participants traversed designated areas in the National Park and collected data as per the data sheets provided to them. The census exercise was monitored by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Chief Wildlife Warden and Regional Wildlife Warden, Kashmir. At field level, the census programme was conducted and supervised by the Wildlife Warden, Central Division, Dachigam.

The Regional Wildlife Warden, Kashmir Region, Rashid Yahya Naqash, awarded the certificates of participation among all the participants who took part in the Hangul Census-2017 in Dachigam. The census was conducted in Hangul Winter Range Dachigam National Park and immediate watersheds during the first phase, wherein methodology of the census was adopted in consultation with experts of Wildlife Institute of India. The rest of the areas of the Hangul landscape is being taken for census in the next phase. A valedictory function was held at Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC) Dachigam National Park after the concluding census exercise.

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JAMMU: To curb  the  alarming rise in  man-animal conflict in the  Jammu and Kashmir - the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation -a leading organisation of Gujjars- today  advised  the State government to  introduce a brigade of 'Bakerwali Dogs'   to protect  human lives residing  near forests. It said, that the nomad Gujjars are using  the rare breed of  tough and honest  'Bakerwali Dog'  as protector of their lives and livestock  in forests , since centuries.

The suggestion was made by the intellectuals of Gujjar community while addressing  a programme  organised by the Foundation on 'Man Animal Conflicts and Gujjars Tribe". The event was presided over by noted Tribal researcher Dr. Javaid Rahi while a number of Tribal dignitaries participated in the programme. Dr. Javaid Rahi, in his presidential address stated  that  only tranquiliser guns, cages, nets, crackers cant combat the human-animal conflict solely  but it needs a  proper planning at ground level.

Quoting a government document wherein it said that   42  people have been killed  by wild animals in Jammu & Kashmir during the last two years and at least 515 have been injured. He said the situation is growing grim on the ground day by day. He suggested that  the  J&K Wild Life Department  must introduce a brigade of 'Bakerwali Dogs'   to curb the incidents immediately to save human lives.

He suggested that the  wild life to identify most effected  villages across the state to introduce a fleet of 'Bakerwali Dog' after training in each areas to rein in man animal conflict strategically . He said  nomads are using innovative technique in this context  since centuries. He said a Bakerwali Dog is extremely courageous with a power  to kill a lion, a tiger or a bear alone in a situation of extreme conflict . This dog can solely  fight with an  animal larger in double  than itself. Being human friendly the  breed cannot attack any  human being during migration /or in the day light especially in thickly populated areas. In night they can  guard a cluster of houses efficiently. 

He said Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed increase in man wild animal-conflict, which is due to the expanding human populations,  construction near forest lands and wastelands, fragmentation of wild animal habitat due to development activities and conversion of habitats into croplands and orchards. He appealed the nomadic community to support state forest  department to introduced the concept of  Bakerwali rigade  to curb man-animal conflict in J&K. 

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BUDGAM:  District Development Commissioner Budgam, Mir Altaf Ahmed, along with ADC Budgam today kicked off plantation drive in the district by planting a chinar sapling at Bihishte Zehra Park and at Railway Station, Budgam. On the occasion, the DDC highlighted the importance of afforestation in arresting the trend of climate change and global warming. It was said that as many as 274576 saplings of different plants like conifers, mulberry, walnut, and apple will be planted at identified locations across the district.