PM pushes for leopard reserve project in Margalla Hills
ISLAMABAD – In a major development, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the concerned ministries, divisions and departments to submit a draft plan about making the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) as the country’s first ever Asian leopard reserve without any delay.
Sharing details of the plan, officials said yesterday the Prime Minister had unveiled the proposal in his recent meeting with Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, PTI MNAS from Islamabad and Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) to his proposal into action. Malik Amin Aslam yesterday while sharing some salient features of the plan said the proposed leopard reserve project would consist of 17,386 hectares. He was of the view that the MHNP is a protected area and has now become a permanent new habitat of the wild cats that previously would move to the park area and roam around its lower reaches during winter months and retire to a higher altitude during summers.
The park, he said, is home to rich biodiversity comprising around 600 plant species, 402 bird varieties, 38 mammals and 27 species of reptiles.
It would not be out of place to mention here that the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), an Islamabad based NGO, last year had released images of a female common leopard named Shehzadi found to be a permanent resident of the territory between hiking and trekking trails 4 and 6 inside MHNP.