Thu. Dec 9th, 2021


Herders lament loss of livelihood, retributive killing of the beast is being feared

PT Report

A scene of destruction inside the cattle pan

Moorkhoon, May 25: At least 68 sheep and goats have, reportedly, been killed by a Snow Leopard in the Dhee area of Khunzhrav (wrongly spelled by Khunjerab) National Park.

According to statistics provided by management of the Khunjrab Village Organization (KVO), 23 of the killed animals belonged to Mirza Muhammad and family, 12 to Bahadur,  9 to Aslam , 7 to Ghulam Rasool and 4 to Qalandar Shah.

A number of the dead animals

The farmers are angry about the depredation of livestock by snow leopard. They have reportedly submitted a written complaint against the organization working for preservation of the endangered species. “They tell us about the importance of Snow Leopard but fail to compensate us for the losses incurred due to the predators”, the complainants have reportedly said.

At least 17 sheep and goats had been killed last month in the vicinity of Sost, the border town of Pakistan on the Karakuram Highway.

A local man counting his dead cattle

“There are more than 50 Snow Leopards roaming in the KVO Conservation area”, a wildlife guide of the KVO told this scribe. “The beast is getting disturbed due to massive blasting in the area”, he further said, on the condition of anonymity. “The leopards have moved to the higher mountains and there they can easily attack the cattle pans”, he added. The guide also said that Ibex are now inhabited in lower parts of the meadows due to availability of grass.

Mining, logging, and industrial development degrade and fragment snow leopard habitat.  The changes in surroundings push the big cats into less suitable areas, where the climate may be harsher, prey scarcer, or conflicts with humans more likely to occur.  All of these factors make it more difficult for the cats to survive. Hence the attacks on human settlements and livestock.

So in many cases, while the leopards survive and grow, life for the peasants and herders becomes difficult due to frequent heavy loss of

Locals and office bearers of KVO looking at the hunted animals

livestock. In retaliation they may resort to retributive killing of the wildlife.

“The herders have to be compensated if we want sustainable preservation of the Snow Leopards and other wild animals”, an official of the KVO said, while emphasizing the need for providing incentives to those who lose their property.


  1. I came paw to paw with a beautiful snow leopard cub at kunzerhav in 2005. Is there some way (free from corruption) that the guardians of the leopards can be helped, perhaps so that they can compensate stock owners. It is very important that the leopard be promoted to bring lucrative tourists into the area, so local people can share in the value of the wildlife. This is what they do in parts of Africa to prevent poachers.

  2. What a shame! KVO got lots of income. why they don’t built a predator proof coral there. this is second incident in last two years where at the very same place they have lost over 100 livestock.

  3. terrible to see…saving the wild life cost livelihoods. good idea of world wild life conservation.

  4. Pamir Times reported a similar incident on 21 November, 2010 under the title ““50 cattled killed by snow leopard in Khunzhrav”. That incident, which occurred on 19 November 2010, also occurred in Dhee nullah. In that incident Mr. Mirza Muhammad of Morkhun village lost 50 sheep and goats. Reader of Pamir Times will find the report and comments posted on the snow leopard network blog site: In the recent incident, Mr. Mirza Muhammad is reported to have lost 23 sheep and goats, once again in Dhee nullah. Looking at the pictures of this incident, the livestock corral does not seem to be the improved predator-proof type of corral. Use of predator-proof corrals can help to reduce loss of livestock. If Dhee is a predator ‘hot spot’, then helping herders to construct predator-proof corrals is essential. An insurance scheme could also help mitigate the financial loss.

  5. What will the poor shepherds do when these kind of activities took place again and agian. They struggle in that tough land and climitically harch enviroment to earn for their 3 time meal but what if the loss repeat it self like this. The Snow lepeard is presered – a good sign but the institutuin is failing to compensate the losses…. If this situation will remain like this how far the shepferd will bear??? KVO should compensate the shepherds to minimise their losses. But I think the KVO management is deaf to measure equalities in the socities.

  6. It is one of the repeted incidence occured in the valley people have to face great losses. It is not due to negligence of the people nor the negligence of the Khunjerab villegers Orgnization (KVO). There are two questions, whether we provide protection to all kind of the wild life or we discontinue providing protection to the dangerous species like snow Leapards and wolves found in the area. It is a matter of concern of the National Park management and WWF who are working on this subject and they have special funds for such incidents. Khunjarab villegers Organization (KVO) is one of the pioneer community organization, which struggled hard to protect all kind of wild life in the area with good intention and earned a good name in the subject of conservation. The goat-herders who lost their livestocks is great loss for them ,because they put their best efferts to breed sheep and goats for their children’s education but now they are resourceless. May I suggest to KNP management and wild life to compensatet the people.

  7. Time and time again we get these reports and time and time again nothing is done to address the issues.

    Wildlife must be protected – no debate
    Locals and their livestock must be protected and supported

    Small steps to final solutions must be sorted by involving ALL stakeholders – locals must not be treated as outsiders and guests in these forums – they must be frontline participants.

    Whatever is agreed to – MUST be enforced without any delay, excuses or debate.

    Locals MUST be involved in ALL schemes and projects.

  8. Human is more important then animals! People kill people for intrusion, these …beasts…needs to killed because thier presense creats more imotional and finalcial suffurings to human. Human first !

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