Endangered Species
Ecological Services

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The Suleiman Markhor of The Torghar Hills (12:43)


The markhor is a species of wild goat that lives in extremely rugged terrain with precipitous cliffs, rocky caves, and bare rock surfaces interspersed with patches of arid, steppe vegetation. Historically, the straight-horned (or Suleiman) markhor inhabited the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, just inside the Afghanistan border. Today, the markhor is only found in the mountains of Balochistan Province, Pakistan. Here, locals have implemented a wildlife management plan called the Torghar Conservation Project, an innovative, community-based conservation program that allows for limited trophy hunting to conserve local populations of markhor, improve habitat for both markhor and domestic livestock, and improve the economic conditions for local tribes in Torghar.

The project, which has been in effect since 1985, has increased the Torghar Hills population from fewer than 200 animals in the mid-1980s to more than 3,000 animals today. This growth can be attributed to the substantial reduction in mortality that occurred when uncontrolled hunting by tribes was stopped, as well as the virtual elimination of poaching driven by the hiring of more than 80 game guards from the local population.

Last updated: October 3, 2014