GB govt earns $181,000 for Markhor trophy hunting

GILGIT: An American citizen hunted the highest-rated Astore markhor in Doyan Community Controlled Hunting Area (CCHA) in Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday under the current trophy hunting programme.

According to GB wildlife officials, Brian Douglas Williams from the US successfully hunted an Astore markhor (Capra falconeri) in Doyan, with a trophy size of 40-inch horns.

The hunter paid a $181,000 trophy hunting permit fee to the GB Wildlife Department (GBWD) for the hunt.

This was the fourth highest-rated Astore markhor hunt in the current trophy hunting programme.

Earlier, on Feb 13, Colglazier John Michael from the US hunted an Astore markhor in Sai Damote CCHA in Gilgit after paying $171,000.

On January 27, American citizen Joseph Bradford Coors hunted the highest-rated Astore markhor in the SKB community control hunting area in Roundu area of Skardu after paying $186,000 to the GBWD.

On December 2, 2023, Jan Jacob T. Dams from Belgium hunted an Astore markhor in the DMT hunting area of Astore after paying $177,000.

The trophy hunting programme starts in October and ends in April the following year.

In October 2023, the GB Forest, Parks and Wildlife Department auctioned four licences for the hunting of the prized Astore markhor, one of which fetched a record $186,000. Permits to hunt over a hundred rare species were auctioned as part of the trophy hunting programme for 2023-24.

The licences included four for Astore markhors, 14 for blue sheep, and 88 for Himalayan ibex in various community conservation areas across GB.

The highest permit for the Astore markhor was sold for $186,000, the second for $181,000, the third for $177,000, and the fourth for $171,000.

The base rate fees for blue sheep and Himalayan ibex permits were $9,000 and $5,500, respectively.

According to Mohammad Ilyas Balghari, the GBWD spokesman, 80 per cent of the proceeds go to local communities, which utilise the funds for various development projects, including education and healthcare. The remaining 20pc is deposited in the government treasury.

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