BY MARIA ALTAF
Kashmir is home to several animal species that are in the list of endangered, such as snow leopard also called as 'ounce' and Kashmiri red stag called 'Hangul' .These two are the major attraction in the forests of Dachigam.
Snow leopard lives in the high altitudes of Jammu and Kashmir over almost 3200 meters. Snow leopards are beautiful with thick, smoky grey fur patterned with dark grey rosettes.
They have body length of almost 52 inches but surprisingly their tail can be sometimes as long as their whole body. They are adopted to snow as their paws act as natural snowshoes.
Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous jumpers. They run at the speed of 35-40 miles per hour. Fortunately we were gifted with the most enriched biodiversity and bounty by nature but unfortunately we couldn't cherish this treasure. We kept on pulling it down.
According to an estimate 4500-7500 snow leopards are living in this part of Central Asia. It all happened because of the destruction of their natural habitat.
Their natural habitat got threatened by urbanisation and their number decreased due to poaching also. Poaching is an illegal trafficking and killing of wildlife.
Animals are poached for their fur, skin, horns and tusks. Poaching has disastrous consequences, including an unbalanced ecosystem and spread of some major illness.
But this ecological imbalance is a biggest drawback and factor resulting in flooding due to erosion of soil. Rising the sea levels due to melting of glaciers, caused by global warming.
It is said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and this perfect example fits here. Min-Max algorithm (game playing) between ecosystem and man. While doing all this destruction man forgot that "He who digs a pit for others falls in himself"
Most of the readers must be knowing what I am talking about, an incident which took place few days back of a leopard who was roaming in Srinagar and made humans to shut inside their homes. Such cases already took place in past and had a very dreadful result but still people don't take a lesson from it.
Nature provided us enough to satisfy our needs but our greed is endless. Let us be collectively conscious on all fronts of development in the name of urbanisation and take serious note of destroying forests; we need to make developmental policies with proper research about the niche and habitats of wildlife.
The altering ecosystem will fire back on us eventually because earth has strange ways of coming back and sustaining itself, but with serious repercussions.
The author is pursuing her MBBS.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.