Bushra Nisar - Managing and conserving the biotic resource has been shifted from expensive state-centered projects towards the move in which indigenous communities play a much important role. The restructuring of the relationship between government and communities by the transfer of power from administrative authority to local organizations will benefit the socioecological system positively. The findings basic aim of sustainable use of biotic resources is to accomplish the demand of the humans and safeguarding the reserves not for today but also for future generation. The demand of human population for biotic resources of wetland ecosystem for potable water, nutrition is growing day by day. The areas where these demands are increasing very rapidly are those regions of the world where the ability of the ecosystem to fulfil these demands has been lowered by many folds. Human actions are fundamentally, and to a significant extent irreversibly, changing the diversity of life on Earth, and most of these changes represent a loss of biodiversity. The use of socioecological concept for the conservation of biotic resources of a wetland is new field which is very unbelievable, if not agreed strongly. It is too incalculable to put on a value but it is a key factor if something is without any value, its importance is considered as zero in this world. The Mangla dam of AJK is the 9th biggest dam of the world. This deep fresh water lake is located (33.12 N, 73.39- E) 30 Km North West of Punjab province in Pakistan. The Dam is occupying he area of 46,000 acres, 259sq. Km and 26500 ha. The dam was constructed on River Jhelum in the foot hill of Pir Panjal within upper Siwaliks. This dam emerged as large fresh water manmade lake. The Mangla Dam falls into fresh water wetland category and represents lacustrine (permanent fresh water lake) sub-group of wetland. Other wetlands of this kind are Bund Khushdil Khan, Haleji Lake, and Hub & Tarbella Dams are properly managed for protection and conservation of water birds. Unfortunately the internationally important

Mangla lake of AJK state is the most neglected wetland of Pakistan, although it is a wintering ground for migratory birds.

Annually birds from European and Asian regions migrate towards wetlands of Pakistan to cope with the harsh winter at their home land. These birds follow seven fly ways of all over the world and one of vary the important and frequently used Indus fly way is present in Pakistan. The Indus Flyway or green route is major busiest migratory routes of the world for avian fauna. The Indus Flyway is starting from Siberia to diverse habitats of Pakistan over the mountains of Hindu Kush, peaks of Karakorum, and mountain ranges of Suleiman, beside the River Indus and down to its delta. This rout is very vital for its varied species and big numbers of avian population. This avifauna consists of internationally threatened birds’ species like White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) and Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus). The findings of regular surveys at different wetlands in Pakistan are revealed that annually about 700, 000 and 1, 200, 000 birds landed in diverse habitats of Pakistan via Green Route or Indus Flyway.

A doctorate level study of Mangla Dam Wetland was designed to determine the impact of local community around the dam on its biological diversity and its aquatic ecosystem. The locals were generating their livelihood from dam resources like 10.49% of respondents associated with fishing, 11.23% were earning through boating, 6.51% were farmers. The fishermen hired by fish contractor from different cities of Punjab and Sindh were earning Rs.1000 (USD 9.53) /day. The females participants 3.41% were teacher, 1.75% was health workers and 7.92% were students but remaining were associated with farming, agriculture and wood collection. The 4.63% members of selected individuals were involved in hunting, pouching and illegal trade of wildlife. The family of 5-7 members was using 36 ton fire wood annually leading to deforestation and

habitat degradation. The unsustainable fisheries were very common and illegal trapping of Mahasher (Tor putitora) was at peak by all means. The hunter utilized various methods for fish hunting like blast method with Dynamite, net (kaatra, patti, cage net) and electric current. In three years of study 151 cases of unsustainable fishing were reported among them 64 cases were with blast fishing, 38 cases were with net (kaatra, patti, cage net) and 49 were with electric current. The accused were fined Rs. 10,000 (USD= 95.51) for single attempt but this penalty is not looking useful as cases were increasing every year. Hunting and trapping were very common in the study area. The major victims of this illegal act were migratory birds especially in winter. This wildlife was hunted in different areas e.g. from forest cover the wild hares, wild boars around the year from jungle cover, snakes from rocks/forest in summer, useful insects in spring/summer, and Indian peafowl, quail, grey & black partridges from forests in summer/spring season. Different kind of traps, cages, hunting dogs, motor/paddle boats, mimicry species, models of birds/animals, recorded sound of parrots and birds, repeater and 12 bore guns were used for hunting and trapping. Generally local community/fishermen were guided the hunters regarding best hunting opportunities and timing within area. The field data and current work is indicating that no. of biodiversity was decreasing in last ten years. The parts of wildlife were utilized in various ways like the feathers of birds were used for dress designing, decoration and medicines. The scales of pangolin were used for medicines, bullet proof jackets making and body part were also utilized for food. The poison of snakes and black scorpion was used for medicine. Some animal/birds parts were also used for black magic. In last ten years the species sizes was decreased and the no. of trappers outside the villages were increasing as the demand of different species was rising mainly for migratory birds, black scorpion and pangolins. The grazing waterfowls like Ruddy Shell Duck, Wigeon and Bar-headed Geese were poisoned with

granules of pesticides like Basudine, Carbo-furan. The ducks diving belong to Family Anatidae e.g. Red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), Common pochard (Aythya ferina), Ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca) and Tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) were died due to fishing nets. Till 2013 Wildlife & Fisheries Department was issuing hunting license @ Rs. 1500 (USD= 14.33) for a year but hunting was banned afterward. It is evident that maximum cases were registered in 2011-2012 i.e. 199. The no. of registered cases was reduced in nest years i.e. 159 and 188. The accused were fine after court procedures e.g. Rose Ringed Parakeet (Rs.5000-10000 (USD= 47.75-95.51) per bird), Bar Headed Geese (Rs.12000 ( USD= 114.61) per bird), Black Scorpion (Rs.20000 (USD= 191.01) per specimen), Asian Palm Civet (Rs.2000( USD=19.10) per animal), Blue Rock Agama(Rs.1500(USD= 14.33) per specimen), Tawny Eagle (Rs.10000(USD= 95.51) per bird), Peregrine Falcon ( Rs.10000 (USD=95.51) per bird) and Pangolin (Rs.10000 to 15000 (USD= 95.51-143.26) per bird) even after imposing heavy fines the hunting was not under control.

The community depends on resources of Mangal Dam via farming, livestock keeping, agriculture, hunting, trapping, fishing, water utilization for domestic use and sewerage directly or indirectly. Literacy rate was lower in community but educated people were more interested to participate in conservations activities than uneducated members of community. The community have positive attitude for biotic resources but having negative approach for concerned departments. The flora of area consisted of 168. The fauna included 42 species of fish from 09 families, 02 species of amphibian, 04 species of lizard, 06 species of snake (included near threatened Xenochrophis piscator piscator and Python molurus) and 13 species of mammals included endangered Indian Pangolin. During this period the highest bird diversity of 57892 birds from 188 species was recorded in 2011-2012, and then 54311 birds of 186 species were

recorded in 2012-2013 and 5268 birds of 187 species were recorded in 2013-2014. Overall a steady decrease in birds population was noticed during study period. These birds were included near threatened birds like Anhinga melanogaster, Aythya nyroca, Circus macrourus, Sterna acuticauda, Prinia burnesii and vulnerable species like Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Ficedula subrubra and Saxicola macrorhyncha according to IUCN Red Data List. The grouping of birds on the basis of feeding regime included highly diverse Insectivores (I) 843.91% , second in number were Carnivores (CV) 23.80%, Paiscivores (P) were 10.05% and least abundant were Herbivore 7 (3.70%). The total reported cases of hunting were 539 and hunting index was 14.7.

It is concluded that this manmade Mangla Lake Wetland is providing multiple services to community like crop irrigation, water supply for domestic use, freshwater fisheries and recreation. This wetland is also playing a significant role as flood control barrier, groundwater recharge and pollution abatement. It is one of the neglected wetland therefore; its conservation has not been receiving sufficient consideration in the National Water Sector Agenda. As a consequence it is severely subjected to anthropogenic pressures, like deforestation within catchment areas, industrial and households’ pollution, encroachments, hunting of migratory birds and exploitation of its biotic resources. The absence of basic necessities of life for poor community is also increasing pressure on its biotic resources. The poverty is affecting the wetland conservation many folds. It will be of great importance for conservation managers (both government and non-governmental organizations) to involve the local community in biotic resource management. The ecotourism may provide various earning options to improve community living standards. The hunting of migratory birds and other wildlife species is at alarming level the Wildlife and Fisheries Departments AJK is not in position to save migratory birds and other biotic resources due to limited funds, trained field staff and transportation.

Furthermore, the departmental aspects like policies, rules and regulation for management of wetland have received inadequate attention by Government. The data in field of wetland physical parameters and socioecological are scanty as compare to limnological aspects. The researches in this field will helpful to design better management plans for watersheds (wetlands) that are suffering from various human and climatic factors. The Inter-disciplinary management of this important fresh water reservoir will be helpful for its entitlement as RAMSAR site.