Reduced tourist numbers in Galliyat spark debate over wildlife diets – Latest News – The Nation

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PESHAWAR – Recent reports of monkeys suffering due to food shortages due to fewer tourists in Galliyat in the current month have sparked a debate over the feeding of wild animals by humans. A number of animal lovers are today sharing photos of monkeys wandering the fields in Galliyat in search of food as they face hunger following the reduced arrival of tourists who give them food fruits and snacks for fun and taking pictures. Animal lovers while sharing photos are appealing for help from hungry monkeys to raise funds to provide them with food during this month when tourists aren’t visiting scenic spots that serve as hideouts for primates and other species wild. There are calls for visitors to Galliyat and other scenic spots to bring extra bread or food to distribute to the hungry monkeys.

Appeals from animal lovers on social media have drawn swift objections from conservation experts with comments to convince people not to participate in such a long-term detrimental activity to wildlife.

“Don’t feed the animals in the wild, it will change their feeding behavior,” warns Dr Muhammad Kabir, a wolf PhD and faculty member at Haripure University, while watching a message in a group WhatsApp, Mission Awareness Foundation (MAF), calling for help from hungry monkeys in scenic tourist destinations. The message was written by a member of the Shoaib Salim group, a student and resident of Manshera district, who during a recent visit to Nathiagali observed the monkey suffering due to lack of food. “I was sleeping in a hotel room during a recent visit to Galliyat and woke up to the voice of monkeys scratching the door trying to get in to get food,” Shoaib shares. “They don’t feed on the forests and now depend on tourists. Their feeding behavior is not like that of Amazonian animals, please think about that,” says Dr. Kabir when the animal lover asked for reasons for not feeding wild animals. “Wilderness in monkeys is long gone, otherwise they will never approach humans like this, let’s be part of the welfare of the wild,” said the member who posted the message for the help of the monkeys. There are thousands of monkeys in Galliyat whose eating habits have been totally changed and it is not appropriate to train them to adopt a natural source of food, Shoaib continued in support of his view. After Ramazan, the old routine will resume as tourists start arriving and the same eating habits will resume, so during a one-month break, we cannot change their habits, he continued. “Wait, think again and let them be wild, don’t get them petted,” adds another member of the group in support of Dr Kabir’s view. “I can understand your love for wild animals, but you must follow the protocol, in the long term this artificial feeding activity will have a negative impact on the wild population. Must read and follow the instructions given by the wildlife department of the KP,” adds Dr. Kabir. To wrap up the discussion, WhatsApp group organizer Malik Fahad also shared a few links of stories highlighting the negative impacts on wildlife from human food.” monkeys by tourists in Galliyat and other scenic spots including the Margalla Hills has disrupted the animal’s eating habits, creating many problems for locals, wildlife protectors and visitors alike themselves,” confirms Muhammad Waseem, director of WWF Pakistan.

Muhammad Waseem said that nature saved food for the monkeys in the forest, but providing them with food by locals and tourists affected the habits of the animal, disrupting the natural process by making them dependent on food. the man.

In the Margalla Hills, signs are also hung advising visitors not to feed animals, especially monkeys, and to let them feed naturally, Waseem added.

“Feeding by humans robs different wild species of their wilderness instincts and makes them dependent on humans, thereby damaging the ecosystem,” comments Daud Khan Yousafzai, a Buner M.phil scholar whose research focused on the same subject.

The shift from natural food to human-provided items also affects the ecosystem, as these monkeys play an important role in the regeneration of different plant species through the distribution of seeds through the faecal route.

Sajid Hussain WWF-Pakistan Common Leopard Field Assistant, when contacted, also opposes the distribution of food to wildlife by humans.

He said tourist feeding has brought the monkeys closer to human settlements, affecting the ecosystem, as Galliyat’s common leopard now preys more on livestock.

Monkeys are preyed upon by the leopard, but most primates have descended into human settlements, forcing the leopard to opt for livestock, resulting in the retaliatory killing of the feline by the locals.

Sajid also revealed that due to the proximity of monkeys and humans to obtain food, incidents of monkey bites also increase with the risk of rabies, as the majority of people in mountainous areas are unaware of themselves. vaccinate against rabies after a monkey bite. .

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