Existing wildlife in Pakistan
Existing wildlife in Pakistan
In Pakistan, most of the wildlife is present in a reasonable number in the rugged mountains, deserts, and plains. However, human beings coupled with global warming posing a serious threat to their lives in various parts of the country.
The mountainous areas including the Himalaya, Karakorum, and Hindukush ranges are rich in fauna and flora, as compared to other parts of alpine grazing land.
Some of the wildlife species are the snow leopard, the black and the brown bears, otter, wolf, lynx, Himalayan ibex, Markhor, bharal, Marco polo’s sheep, shape, musk deer, marmots, tragopan, and monal pheasants. The snow partridge and stopcock reside at higher elevations. The Rhesus monkey, common langur, black bear, common leopard, a variety of cats, musk deer (over a limited area), goral, several species of flying squirrels, chador, partridge, and pheasants (koklass, Khaleej, and cheer) live in brown bear are threatened.
Blue sheep populations reduced
The blue sheep populations have been reduced to a certain limit. The cheer pheasant is reported to be inexistent from within Pakistan’s boundaries and is included in the IUCN Red Data Book. The western horned tarpon was reported to have extinct from within Pakistani territory but has now been relocated to Indus Kohistan, although its numbers are low.
Animals in Balochistan:
The animals present in the south-western mountains of Balochistan are Sindh ibex, Chiltan markhor, straight horned markhor, wild sheep, leopard, marbled polecat, Blandford’s fox, chinkara, goitered gazelle, and the marsh crocodile. The cheetah is believed to be extinct and the Makran (Baluchistan) bear is critically endangered. The Houbara bustard (migratory), sandgrouse, black and grey partridges, the chakra and see partridges are also present here.
Moisturized forest plantations have emerged as the prevailing land use practice for the last 100 years. These ideally provide excellent habitat for chinkara, hog deer, and blue bull. Forest management does not cater to the needs of these wild animals. This, coupled with the poor application of laws has resulted in the extinction of species in the irrigated plantations. Due to habitat disturbances, the ungulates have failed to establish themselves, whereas the partridges have flourished well.
Pakistan’s shoreline of 1,050 km consists of a variety of habitat types, supporting a wide range of animals, of which over 1000 are fish species. Pakistan’s marine flora and fauna have not been studied properly. Hence, detailed information on these species is deficient.
Animals in the Shores:
Along the shores, there are four species of marine turtles i.e, the ridley, green, leatherback, and hawksbill turtle, which are of high financial importance. Due to loss of habitat and human disturbances, their population is also decreasing.
About eight species of freshwater turtles are found in Pakistan. Sand lizards, monitors, geckos, agamas, diamond snakes, sand snakes, vipers, cobras, kraits, and the famous Indian python constitute the other reptilian fauna.
Risks to Fauna in northern mountainous areas:
The main risks to the population of wild animals in the northern mountainous regions include the competition with domestic livestock for existing natural forage, increasing human interference in the form of cultivation, the construction of roads, and hunting. The Himalayan foothills and the Potohar region, including the salt Range and Kala Chitta Range, are covered with scrub forests, which have been reduced to scanty growth in most places. Medium-sized animals like the Punjab urinal, barking deer, goral, chin Kara, partridges (grey and black), see and chakor are supported in these habitats, Varieties of songbird faunas also occur in these areas.
The author is a student of BS in Environmental Sciences at Sardar Bahadur Khan University Quetta.