Deron James Millman, a US citizen, achieved a historic feat by securing a trophy hunting permit for a Markhor at Tooshi Shasha Conservancy in Lower Chitral, Pakistan, paying a record $232,000 in a bidding process held in October. This remarkable initiative is part of a trophy hunting program where 80% of the license fee directly benefits local communities. The program, exemplified by auctions for Astor Markhors in various regions, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral and Kohistan Districts, has significantly contributed to the resurgence of Markhor populations.
The success of this conservation strategy lies in its dual impact—bolstering wildlife preservation and enhancing the economic prospects of local communities. By adhering to ethical standards, the program fosters protection for wild game species. Notably, the Markhor, Pakistan’s national animal, is safeguarded by both local and international laws, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This synergy of community involvement, economic incentives, and legal frameworks underscores the program’s pivotal role in promoting biodiversity conservation and sustainable coexistence between humans and wildlife in Pakistan.