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War and wildlife: a post-conflict assessment of Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor

  • Charudutt Mishra (a1) and Anthony Fitzherbert (a2) (a3)

Abstract

Prior to the last two decades of conflict, Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor was considered an important area for conservation of the wildlife of high altitudes. We conducted an assessment of the status of large mammals in Wakhan after 22 years of conflict, and also made a preliminary assessment of wildlife trade in the markets of Kabul, Faizabad and Ishkashem. The survey confirmed the continued occurrence of at least eight species of large mammals in Wakhan, of which the snow leopard Uncia uncia and Marco Polo sheep Ovis ammon are globally threatened. We found evidence of human-wildlife conflict in Wakhan due to livestock depredation by snow leopard and wolf Canis lupus. Large mammals are hunted for meat, sport, fur, and in retaliation against livestock depredation. The fur trade in Kabul is a threat to the snow leopard, wolf, lynx Lynx lynx and common leopard Panthera pardus.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: International Snow Leopard Trust (India Program), Nature Conservation Foundation, 3076/5, 4th Cross Gokulam Park, Mysore 570002, Karnataka, India. E-mail: charu@ncf-india.org
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Oryx
  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
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