Choman, Qandil, Penjwen

Migratory herders prepare to move to Kurdistan’s mountainous areas

NEWSROOM — In the coming days, migratory herders in the Kurdistan Region will begin their annual relocation toward the cooler areas, adhering to new conditions set by local administrations.

In Erbil’s Choman district, which borders Iran and has several designated areas for herders, authorities have stipulated strict regulations to manage the influx. The primary condition set by the district is that herders must transport their livestock via trucks rather than by foot, with penalties awaiting those who do not comply.

Ahmad Barzan, the qaymaqam of Choman, informed 964media that herders must obtain written permission and the necessary permits for transferring their livestock. “Before moving livestock, a veterinary inspection is required, and then the livestock can be transported to the allocated areas by trucks,” Barzan explained.

He added that herders are not permitted to enter these areas before June 1 and must adhere to the established guidelines. “Each registered herder will have their name recorded at checkpoints to ensure authorized access,” Barzan stated.

The Soran administration has echoed this regulation, emphasizing that livestock must not be moved on foot to prevent overgrazing and potential environmental damage. Violators face financial penalties and could be banned from accessing Choman’s pastures the following year.

Besides Choman, herders also relocate to the Qandil, Penjwen, and other regions, each with specific conditions and guidelines. Last year, over 200 herder families moved to the mountains of Choman.

In preparation for this year’s migration, the Qandil municipal administration is focusing on infrastructure by repairing roads leading to the mountainous areas. Dlashêr Ibrahim, the head of the Qandil municipality, highlighted new conservation measures being implemented. “Under no circumstances should they disturb the nests of chukars. Additionally, cutting down trees in any form is strictly prohibited,” Ibrahim stated, noting that any violations will be met with penalties issued by a special committee.