PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department has chalked out a “comprehensive plan” to increase the population of the endangered Cheer Pheasant, a victim of habitat loss to human development in the region.
Official sources told APP on Sunday that concrete arrangements have been made for the bird’s breeding at Dhodial Pheasantry in Mansehra District to increase their population. Sixty new pairs of cheer pheasant have been bred at the pheasantry and 40 new birdcages have been installed to protect the rare pheasants.
The objective of breeding indigenous exotic species of pheasants is to create awareness among the people and provide opportunities to scientists and researchers collecting data to study their behaviour for sustainable conservation.
Ring-Necked, Wood Green, Neepal Kaleej, Edwards, Blue, Koklas, Kalij, Monal, Tragopan, Golden, Lady Amherst, and Reeves are some of the other rare pheasants being bred at the facility.
Dhodial Pheasantry is spread over an area of 168 kanals and 13 marlas in the scenic Hazara valley. It serves as a shelter and provides a unique environment to 32 varieties of pheasants.
Established in 1984 at Dhodial in Mansehra District on the Karakoram Highway adjacent to Hazara University, the pheasantry also provides a breeding ground for species such as tigers, chinkara, oryal and other protected animals for their reintroduction to their habitats. The pheasantry is the largest pheasantry in Asia, housing 32 of the 52 known species of the bird.
Wildlife enthusiasts have urged the government to extend Dhodial Pheasantry so that the rising pheasant population in the sanctuary can be kept safe.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2011.