KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar held on Wednesday expressed serious concern over startling depletion in population of wild species in Thar. They insisted upon the public and influential people to stop illegal hunting in Thar for the protection and conservation of rare species who are on the verge of extinction owing to their ruthless hunting and trapping. They demanded the government to impose a complete ban on hunting and poaching in Thar. They were speaking at a half-day seminar on “Protection of Wildlife in Thar” held in the Prof. Salimuzzaman Siddiqui Auditorium of International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK). The seminar was addressed by Mr. Saeed Akhtar Baloch, Conservator Officer, Mr. Ghulam Sarver Jamali, Deputy Conservator Officer, Director ICCBS Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Mr. Ashfaq Ali Memon, Wildlife District Officer, Thar, and Mr. Lajpat Sharma Meharraj, former Wildlife District Officer, Thar. Saeed Akhtar Baloch said that importance of wildlife cannot be ignored, while the wealth of wildlife is a salient feature of Thar.This region of Sindh province is bestowed with the precious and rare species including Nilgai (Blue Bull), deer, peacock, antelope, rabbit, partridge and sand grouse etc. Thar is in need of proper attention at all the levels so that precious wildlife can be protected. Tharparkar district is an amazing place where not a single crime activity is reported; he said that added that in Thar Pakistan can also promote tourism for the betterment of the country’s economy. He said that Wildlife department has forwarded a summary to the government to introduce a wildlife course at the graduate level of education. Mr. Ashfaq Ali Memon has delivered his speech through a documentary film and a slideshow. He said the Thar Desert forms a natural boundary between India and Pakistan. In Pakistan, it covers about 20,000 square kilometers, he said and adding that in ‘Thar precious wildlife, including Nilgai, deer, peacock, antelope, rabbit, partridge, sand viper, Egyptian vulture, flamingo, Jungle lizard, monitor lizard and sand grouse etc are now endangered species. In the previous years, migratory birds were in abundance during the winter season but in recent years migratory birds have declined significantly to come Pakistan. We need to eliminate as many as causes of animal demise like climate change, global warming, pollution, illegal hunting etc just to prevent animal extinction and animal endangerment in the future, he said. Mr. Lajpat Sharma Meharraj said that better environment is linked with wildlife conservation. He said that this great desert is rich with animals, birds and plants. He said the wildlife department created water reservoirs and guest houses on account for progress in the area. Mr. Ghulam Sarver Jamali said that the human population is being increased but the wildlife is on the verge of extinction, which is really a matter of concern for the country. He said that we need struggle to discover the right balance between human and animal welfare that leads towards harmony of man and environment. Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary said that this seminar was organised on account of ICCBS Public Awareness Initiative. He said that the survival of human beings is linked with the endurance wildlife, adding that humans and wildlife are the evolutionary partners. He said that Thar is rich with wildlife but it needs proper protection and conservation. Despite the importance of wildlife, humans have are losing wildlife globally, he said that added that during the last 40 years populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish around the globe dropped 52 percent.