Kashmir Indepth

Wildlife Department opens trek route in Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary


JAMMU, NOVEMBER 19 ( KINS):  Suresh Kumar Gupta, Chief Wildlife Warden J&K today formally inaugurated the opening of Jasrota Wildlife trekking route in Kathua district.

Jasrota trek route is one of the eighteen such trek routes identified and mapped by the Department of Wildlife Protection to promote eco-tourism in wildlife areas.

The identified trek route traverses through various wildlife protected areas of Jammu and Kashmir showcasing the pristine natural beauty of these protected areas to the visitors. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Wildlife Warden informed that the department aims to promote guided tours with advance booking through online registration so that visitors can appreciate our natural heritage in a hassle free manner. He also mentioned that the activity shall be promoted in collaboration with the Tourism Department, Development Authorities and tour promoters.

He also highlighted the growing importance of eco-tourism, which not only exhibits forest ecology and biodiversity but also boosts the local economy and links sustainable development with conservation. It is pertinent to mention that Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary has a very high level of species diversity including critically endangered and threatened species like Indian Pangolin, White backed Vulture, Steppe Eagle and Egyptian Vulture and other vulnerable/threatened Himalayan Vulture, Alexandrine Parakeets. Other major attractions of the trek route are darshan at local Kali Veer Mandir, visit to Rani Talab and Jasrota Palace which are all monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The other major eco-tourism destinations in Jammu like Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve and Surinsar-Mansar Wetland are expected to attract a large number of local and outside visitors due to the arrival of migratory birds from Central Asia which arrive in thousands of numbers as part of their winter habitat.

Dr. MK Kumar, Regional Wildlife Warden, Jammu informed that the Department has already organised such events at Nandani Wildlife Sanctuary and Sudhmahadev Conservation Reserve. He also mentioned that more such programmes shall be organized so that participants especially youth and students appreciate wildlife resources of Jammu & Kashmir. The programme aims to raise awareness about wildlife conservation besides eco-tourism promotion.

In the trekking programme more than 100 nature enthusiasts participated. The trekking started at 9:00 am in the morning. The participants were college/university students, forestry trainees, local youth and Panchayat members. The trekkers were divided in the groups of 20-25 individuals and each group was provided with two officials. The groups were led through the 6 km trek in a staggered manner following COVID appropriate behaviour. Intermittently, at different ecologically significant points, trekkers were briefed about the various aspects of vegetation, local ecology and associated biodiversity. The whole trekking was completed in a time period of 3 hours and the teams returned to the camp site at the main gate of Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary.The programme was conducted and coordinated by Vijay Kumar, Wildlife Warden, Kathua. Trekkers appreciated the initiative of the Wildlife Department and looked forward to more such events in future. ( KINS)


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