Honorary Associate, High Altitudes
Riyaz Ahmad is a research scholar from Kashmir, with over 4 years of experience in on-ground research & conservation work in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Notable among these is his exhaustive survey of the shahtoosh workers of Kashmir that gave him the experience of interacting with over 7000 workers on sensitive matters of livelihoods. He has been involved in the only range-wide survey of markhor in Jammu and Kashmir during October 2004 to May 2005 conducted jointly with WTI, where he works. Riyaz has also been involved in the Chiru survey in Ladakh. Presently affiliated with Wildlife Trust of India, as Field Officer.
- Journal Article2016Forage and security trade-offs by markhor Capra falconeri mothers.110 (8): 1559-1563.
- Thesis2014An investigation into the interactions among wild ungulates and livestock in the temperate forests of Kaj-i-nagManipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
- Journal Article2009Endangered markhor Capra falconeri in India: through war and insurgencyOryx 43(3): 407-411Download
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The flare horned markhor Capra falconeri occurs in northern Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Most of the species’ range is along volatile international borders and limited information is available, especially for the population of the Pir Panjal or Kashmir markhor C. f. falconeri in India. From October 2004 to April 2005 we therefore conducted the first range-wide survey of the species in India since independence. The markhor's range has shrunk from c. 300 km2 in the late 1940s to c. 120 km2 in 2004–2005. Our surveys and interviews with key local informants indicate that 350–375 markhor may yet exist in the region. All the populations are small (usually < 50) and fragmented. International conflicts, developmental projects, the needs of an increasing human population and poaching, along with lack of awareness, are the primary threats to the species. The largest population in India, in Kajinag, may have potential for long-term survival if immediate conservation measures can be implemented.