Three officials from J&K’s Department of Wildlife, have been conferred ‘Sanctuary Wildlife Service Award’ 2016 for their commitment to preservation and protection of Kashmir’s Dachigam National Park.The officials have been identified as champions of the exquisite wildlife of India’s northern most state and “they exemplify the virtues that we wish to see in all wilderness protectors.”“They have assumed the position of Earth-protectors and are a source of inspiration for millions, their resolve and determination has ended up saving the last of our wilds. They are the men and women who represent the very best of conservation and Earth patriotism. They are our Earth Heroes and for their extraordinary commitment they have been honored with sanctuary wildlife Service Award 2016,” Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia, said.The officials awarded included Tahir Shawl, Nazir Malik, Jigmet Takpa. Shawl, who is presently Wildlife Warden Central Division, Srinagar, Dachigam National Park, has been chosen as Earth Hero for defending the exquisite wildlife of India’s northern most state of Jammu & Kashmir along with Nazir Malik from Kashmir for defending Dachigam National Park.
“Your resilience is legendry and perhaps the only thing that stands between Dachigam and its destruction,” the citation reads. Jigmet Takpa, Chief Conservator (Wildlife) Ladakh, has been honored for the Award for working with communities and conservation of wildlife in Ladakh.Nazir Malik, has been introduced as Dachigam’s savior who recognizes all the birds in the park and is equally well versed with its flora.Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis was the chief guest at the awards function. The awards were presented by Lord Nicholas Stern, Advisor to the British Prime Minister, in presence of Suresh Chugh the PCCF/Chief Wildlife Warden J&K.The organizers said that the J&K officials have shepherded the realms of some of the India’s rarest wildlife from the snow leopards in Hemis National Park to Black Necked Cranes and Kiang on Indo China border across the Trans Himalaya in Ladakh and Bar-Headed geese on Indo-Pak border in Jammu region.Addressing the gathering during the function, Shawl lauded the Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Chaudhary Lal Singh for his support and commitment to the protection of wildlife and habitat in J&K.The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards were instituted in the year 2000 to recognize and draw national attention to the contribution of individuals working for the protection of wildlife and natural habitats in India.