Today, on March 3, we celebrate World Wildlife’s Day to increase awareness of the World’s diverse wild species and the threats they face. Pakistan, with its varied landscape and climates, is home to many species of wildlife. Unfortunately, quite a few of them face the risk of becoming extinct in the country. The endangered Snow leopard and Markhor are well known in the country. But there are many other magnificent animals who many people don’t know of but are declining rapidly in the country.
Pakistani Sand Cat
This beautiful subspecies of the sand cat is, as the name implies, only found in Pakistan, with its range being limited to the Nushki Desert in western Balochistan. It is the smallest member of the Cat family but is the top predator in its territory where bigger wild animals can’t survive due to scarcity of water. Habitat degradation due to overgrazing by livestock has been the biggest factor behind its decline.
Once a common sighting in the northern reaches of Pakistan, this majestic migratory bird has seen a sharp decline over the years in numbers due to hunting and habitat loss.Less than 3200 of these beautiful birds survive in the wild today and risk disappearing from this world forever unless something is done.
This illusive cat lives near wetlands and river streams. The Fishing cat is an expert at catching fish and it is one of the few cat species who aren’t afraid to get their fur wet .The fishing cat’s population has been reduced severely in the country over the recent years ,primarily due to the destruction of its habitat and hunting for its skin. According to some reports,it is possibly extinct in the country.
This cute little critter is found mainly in scattered locations across Jammu and Kashmir. Habitat Destruction due to agriculture ,military activities and pollution continue to endanger the future of the Kashmir Vole.
Thick Tailed Pangolin
Also known as the scaly anteater, it is founds in plains and hills of Sindh and Kashmir.Despite its looks, it is completely harmless and feeds only on insects. It’s scale are tough and it can curl into a ball to protect itself from predators. Regrettably ,even its scales cannot protect it from the biggest threat it currently faces, humans. Over-hunting is the main reason behind the decline of this distinctive creature and it could disappear altogether from the country if conservation efforts are not increased .
This is a furry animal straight out of the Ice Age! Initially believed to be extinct, in 2004 a few of them were discovered in Gilgit, Pakistan. It is one of the largest species of flying squirrels in the world. Despite the remote areas where it lives, livestock grazing and deforestation still pose a significant threat to its existence.
Creating awareness is often the fist step in helping conserve endangered world life. Do you part in helping protect Pakistan’s endangered species and share this article with your family and friends.