GARDEZ (Pajhwok): The population of wild animals has increased in different parts of southeastern Paktia province while some animals once disappeared during the civil war have reemerged in the province’s jungles.
The reemergence of some previously disappearing wild animals in Paktia is good news but their hunt by people has created concerns.
Shafiqullah Shafiqi, a resident of Zazai Aryub district of the province, told Pajhwok Afghan News that there were many wild birds and animals in the district’s forests but they were under different threats because of no protection measures.
“Our forests contain stags, mountain chickens and other different birds, but their number is again reducing because hunters chase them there and kill them,” he said.
Mohammad Anwar Tabasum, a resident of Alikhel area of the district, said that local people used to kill pigs because they think pigs damage their crops.
He said neither the government nor local people have so far taken any action to protect wildlife in the area.
Rassoul Khan Zulfiqar, in charge of Zazai Aryub forests, told Pajhwok that there were some wild animals in parts of the district, particularly in Spin Ghar Mountains, but they were in limited numbers and their generations needed protected to increase.
“Wild birds, stags, tigers, wolves, foxes and monkeys inhabit in district’s jungles, we have shared information about the importance of wild animals and we try to prevent their hunting,” he said.
Kaftan Ikhlas, Zazai Aryub district chief, also expressed concern over lack of protective measures for wildlife in the district and said hunting of wild animals continued despite they had discussed the issue with relevant organs and people.
He said the government had also no plans for protection of wild animals. “We have guided people and institutes about the protection of wildlife, but no practical steps avoid damaging wildlife could be taken in this regard.”
Paktia environment protection officials also say there are many wild animals in the province but no surveys were conducted or protection measures taken due to security problems.
Zazai Aryub is one of the country’s forests-rich districts and President Ashraf Ghani once during his trip to the district had promised to turn the district into a national park.