The Juniper’s Shadow is a documentary film by Wild Strongholds depicting the conservation efforts that Pakistani communities undertake to save the national animal of Pakistan, the markhor.
Pakistan is home to three of the four subspecies of markhor in the the world; the Astor markhor, the Kashmir markhor, and the Suleiman markhor.
The markhor population in Pakistan has varied greatly over decades. During the early 20th century, due to overhunting, the population was down. Then, in the 1980’s, through conservation projects being established and trophy hunting, the population began to increase steadily.
In this film, Ed Hudson, an experienced hunter and conservationist, discovers the facts behind markhor conservation in the Astor Valley of the Gilgit-Baltistan Province of Pakistan.
Using intensive interviews with Pakistan’s wildlife officials and local peoples in remote markhor habitat, Ed confirms how trophy hunting is aiding Pakistan’s habitat and wildlife conservation programs.
As the film unfolds, local teachers and hunting guides share their experiences and knowledge regarding the rehabilitation of the markhor population.
Decades ago, trophy hunting programs were established to benefit the local communities throughout Pakistan. Hunting directly contributes to more than 80% of the recovery rate of markhor and many other wildlife species in the region, including snow leopards, which are highly endangered.
Climbing THe Himalayas
Ed Hudson climbing the snowy, high altitude mountains of the Himalayas in freezing cold weather. The Himalayan mountain range is the tallest mountain range in the world, one misstep in this terrain could lead to a thousand-foot fall and certain death.
Ed faces these dangers, not only to learn about the Pakistani people, but also to be an active participant in the conservation of the Astor markhor.
On the Hunt to improve communities
Millions of people live in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Their livelihood reflects one of subsistence living. Discover how trophy hunting contributes to these communities financially and provides a plethora of opportunities for the local people to improve their quality of life.