Faced with the serious problem of wild dogs that are preying on exotic species of birds in the cold desert region of Ladakh, the authorities have sterilized 3544 feral dogs so far during the current year in Leh and Kargil districts.
The worrying factor is that feral dogs are preying on exotic wildlife species particularly in Changthang area that is nesting ground for migratory birds, which are ground-breeders and lay their eggs on the ground.
The dogs eat these eggs thereby threatening the existence of such species. The endangered species of black-necked crane and Himalayan marmots are also becoming prey to feral dogs. The issue of feral dogs was discussed in the meeting of Ladakh’s Wildlife Board on Thursday. It was presided over by Lt Governor RK Mathur.
Emphasizing the need to tackle the issue of feral dogs, Mathur advised the Wildlife Department to coordinate with the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) and provide necessary assistance to them including utilization of outsourced staff to conduct sterilization camps across Ladakh to neuter feral dogs.
He further advised the AHD that necessary support may be provided to the Indian Air Force (IAF) to conduct sterilization camps at the IAF station to ensure air safety. He directed the AHD to work in coordination with the Army and the Indian Air Force to ensure that food waste is not thrown out in the open.
The Lt Governor stressed the need to conduct sterilization of feral dogs on a large scale in all parts of Ladakh in April or May next year in coordination with all the departments and complete the process within a period of three months.
He stated that rationalization of boundaries of Wildlife Sanctuaries is being done in consultation with local stakeholders so that appropriate action can be taken to ensure that the ownership of lands remains with the people residing in these areas.
Chairman, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, Tashi Gyalson; Executive Councilor LAHDC Kargil Mohsin Ali; MP Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal and wildlife expert Dr Ranjit Singh gave suggestions to tackle the issue of feral dogs and
rationalization of boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries for the protection of wildlife and overall benefit of the people of Ladakh.
Earlier, Dr S Sathyakumar from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) informed that four reports on the assessment of wildlife values and land tenure based on the rationalization of boundaries of Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and Karakoram Wildlife Sanctuary have been prepared and shared after proper consultation with the residents of Changthang and Nubra areas.