Tajikistan toughens punishment for illegal hunting of snow leopard
Tajikistan has toughened penalty for illegal hunting of snow leopard. Illegal hunting or intentional killing of snow leopard is now punishable by a hefty fine or imprisonment.
The amendment made to Article 232 of Tajikistan’s Penal Code stipulates that illegal hunting or intentional killing of snow leopard is punishable by up to three years in jail, two years in correctional labor or a fine in the amount of 800 to 1200 calculation indicators (current calculation indicator amounts to 64.00 somonis).
The same act committed by a person using his official position, a group of persons by prior agreement or an organized group in the territory of the reserve, nursery or in the area of ecological disaster, or in the zone of emergency environmental situation is punishable by a fine in the amount of 1500 2000 calculation indicators or by three to five years in jail.
It is to be noted that Tajik authorities are taking measures to preserve snow leopards in the country. Construction of a rehabilitation center for snow leopards began in the territory of the Jamantal zone in Murgab district of the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) in September last year. An area of 10 hectares has been allocated for construction of this rehab center. The rehab center for snow leopard in Murgab district will consist of a sanitary point, a quarantine zone and a watch tower for tourists.
A conference entitled “Snow Leopard Conservation through Effective Habitat Management” took place in Dushanbe on October 29-31, 2019.
Hosted by the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), the event brought together over fifty snow leopard experts, scientists, government and non-government organizations. The conference was organized in close partnership with UNDP’s Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Project and enabled the participants to be provided with updates on organizations’ activities in the area of snow leopard protection and get involved in the development of action plan for the snow leopard conservation in Tajikistan.
According to the World Wild Fund for Nature, there are about 4,000 snow leopards left in the world and the numbers are declining due to poaching, habitat loss and climate change.
In Tajikistan, the total habitat area for snow leopards is about 85,700 km, which represents 60% of the total territory of the country. According to local experts, Tajikistan now contains around 250-400 snow leopards primarily within the Pamir Mountain range.