Name this animal, the national animal of a neighbouring country





Answer: Markhor

Markhor is the National Animal of Pakistan and native to mountainous regions of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Its comeback from the brink of extinction has been one of the greatest conservation success stories in the world that not many know about. 

In 2011, the population in its native range had shrunk to around 2,500. This was mainly due to the trophy hunters who wanted its long, spiraling horns for their display case and locals who wanted its meat for food. 

Thanks to conservation initiatives from wildlife NGOs, its population grew by an incredible 20% by 2021. 

The animal, which typically lives at elevations ranging from 1969-11,811 feet, is also found in Jammu and Kashmir. Wildlife Trust of India has been working tirelessly to increase awareness about the markhor.

“Though found inside protected areas, the Hirpora population of the markhor is in a critical state due to the Mughal road (connecting Kashmir Valley with Poonch) cutting through the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary, the presence of power transmission lines and excessive livestock pressure. The latter has increased because bona fide herders are shifting to non-traditional herding practices for economic reasons,” WTI project lead of the Markhor Recovery Project, Riyaz Ahmad, told Mongabay. 

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