RAWALPINDI, February 24: The Department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries (ZW&F), PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan, celebrated the “World Pangolin Day 2022” on 23rd February 2022, by interacting with local community living in the surrounding habitats of Indian pangolin at “Rustam” Tehsil site of District Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The students and faculty of the department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, along with some faculty members and students of Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Rawalpindi and Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Islamabad, started early morning from the campus of Arid University, and reached Divisional Forest Office (DFO), Mardan District at 11: 00 am. The DFO Mardan, Mr. KaramatHussain Shah and his office staff received the guests warmly and took them to the pangolin site at Rustam Tehsil, where the members of the local community were already waiting. The students first visited the pangolin occurrence site and observed the field signs of Indian pangolin in its natural habitat. Then DFO Mardan briefed the community about the event being celebrated and also highlighted the importance of Indian pangolin in their area. The area also included a “SuriMalandary Community Game Reserve”, a Private Game reserve (PGR) functioning excellently for conservation of wildlife species. The chief (Saddar) of the PGR, Mr. Ayub Khan also talked at the occasion and briefed the students about how the PGR was established and how successfully they are running it.
The students of Arid University displayed the banners, posters and also distributed the printed brochures among community about Indian pangolin, wrong myths about the species, and highlighted and briefed the community about importance of Indian pangolin in the habitat and in their area. Dr. Tariq Mahmood, associate Professor, talked about the importance of Indian pangolin in the ecosystem and why it should be conserved. He also talked about why the World pangolin Day is celebrated every year. The people from local community asked various questions concerning Indian pangolin and its conservation issues. The DFO Mardan was very kind to provide the Pashto language translation for the community to understand the things in their local language.
At the end, the Chief of Private Game Reserve served the lunch and tea, for the guests as well as the local community present at the occasion.
The department of Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries (PMAS-AAUR) is thankful to Divisional Forest Office and (DFO) Mardan, Mr. Karamat Shah and his office staff for making all the arrangements for the event and inviting the local community for awareness about the Indian pangolin. The department is also thankful to Mr. IftikharUzZaman, Conservator Wildlife KPK, for making necessary arrangements and his collaboration for this event.-PR