2010, a deadly year for Sindh's wildlife - Pakistan Today

2010, a deadly year for Sindh’s wildlife

KARACHI – The year 2010 was the worst year for the wildlife in Sindh, which has always been a low priority of the provincial or the federal government. In the past the wildlife faced threats from the humans but this year it was the nature’s fury that took the flora and fauna of Sindh literally by storm -in the form of devastating floods.
The year began as usual with the man-made threats to the wildlife. In February last, former prime minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif made headlines by killing a deer during his visit to the northern Sindh.
He was on his visit to the province in connection the by-elections, when a deer of protected status, fell his victim. But Sindh wildlife dispelled the reports calling it Ghotki district newsmen’s vendetta against Nawaz after they had been refused to take politician’s interview.
Maher tribal elders-kin of former chief minister Sardar Ali Mohammad Mahar were Sharif’s hosts.
Sharif visited Ghotki district and held meetings with leaders of different political parties, powerful landlords and political figures of different districts of Sindh including Shirazis of Thatta district, Jatois of Dadu district, and Mahers of Ghotki district.
H also stayed at Taar Waro Shikargah near the Dubai Camp area, a private safari park of the Maher family, where they keep black bucks, nilgais and other protected animals and birds. The media reported it was there that Sharif hunted a deer.
Now the nature unleashes its fury:
In August, the history’s worst floods came roaring in the River Indus. Devastating barrages, dykes, cattle, crops and humans. Over 7 million people of Sindh were affected and displaced. The floods also further endangered depleting species of blind Indus dolphins. As there was no stopping of the floods was possible, a lot of dolphins slipped downstream and many died in struggle with the flooding tides.
In November, a team of the Sindh Wildlife Department recovered nine hunting peregrine falcons, but due to the sheer negligence of the officials four falcons went missing. Officials claimed the birds had died. Sources told Pakistan Today that Sindh Minister for Wildlife Dr Daya Ram Essrani gifted all nine birds to the Arab dignitaries of United Arab Emirates (UAE) who are friends of President Asif Ali Zardari. By the end of the year, Sindh government on the directives of the president amended the wildlife rules and omitted the foreigners from paying the falcon possession fees of Rs 5,000 and also transferred provincial wildlife conservator Hussain Bux Bhaagat from Karachi to Sukkur, as his staff had quizzed an Arab Sheikh over possessing falcons.

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