Once thought to be extinct in India, the markhor (Capra falconeri) – the world’s largest mountain goat – was found at two sites in Jammu and Kashmir after the Wildlife Trust of India, a conservation organisation, started a survey in 2005.
They found that the markhor is restricted to two areas in Jammu and Kashmir: the Kajinag National Park in Baramulla district close to the line of control and the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary in Shopian district in the northern slopes of the Pir Panjal mountain range.
Little historical information is available about the markhor as it occurs along disputed international borders. Fragmented populations of different sub-species of markhor are found till Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The animal is listed as near threatened in the IUCN Red List and is included in Schedule 1 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978.
After healthy populations were found in these two areas, there was…