Gujjars to lose more rare animal species in J&K: Study

Jammu, January 13(Scoop News) –The nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals have lost 12 rare traditional and indigenous species of sheep, goats, horses and dogs during the past four decades says a recent study conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation-a frontal organisation of Gujjars Jammu and Kashmir . The study further says that almost six of rare native species considered the most threatened in the world are also at the verge of extinction in the Himalayan belt of Jammu and Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh and adjoining states of India.

Dr. Javaid Rahi Secretary Tribal Foundation while releasing the gist of the study for media stated that Jammu and Kashmir ‘s traditional graziers, the nomadic Gujjars-Bakerwals , rue the dying out of several indigenous spices of goat and sheep after introduction of foreign high-yielding breeds. He said the Gujjars and the Bakerwals in the Himalayan belt have lost almost all the native species of sheep and at present they have only foreign Australian Merino species of sheep.

 He said we urged the state government to take immediate measures by constituting a special team to save the existing rarest of rare species of livestock of nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals in the state.

Quoting the study  Dr, Rahi said that the species, which are distinctive with nomadic Gujjars and Bakerwals from times immemorial, have gradually been lost since 1968 when the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, under the ministry of agriculture, Central government, introduced certain foreign-origin breeds in the state. This has been done to get maximum yield in terms of wool, mutton and other viable benefits and it continues till date and with the passage of time our idiginouse species disappeared.

Describing the trend as unfortunate the study revealed  that  the planners while introducing cross breeds among the livestock of nomads did not plan to preserve the native and indigenous species of the livestock of the Gujjars and the Bakerwals in the region.

The study reveals that among the traditional species of sheep, Ghidord Phamphri, Punchi Bakerwali, Bani, and Karnahi have already finished while in the goat species, Gurziya, Belori, Lamdi and Goodri, have already been extinct.

In the horse breeds, Yarkandi (Bakerwali), Nukra and Bharssi horse species have already finished. The study further says that in goat species, Kaghani, Lubdi and Kilan are on the verge of extinction while Jaskardi type, Kaliani and other rare species of horses are also on the verge of extinction.

It says the Bhrokpa, Changpa and Dard tribes of Ladakh are lucky as the traditional species of their livestock are still preserved in remote pockets of the Shivalik area of the Himalayan belt.

The study hopes that it is possible that a few rarest of the rare species of the livestock of the nomadic Gujjars may have been still preserved in some areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan and the same need to be imported to Kashmir to revive the traditional species in the state.