Animal hunting has been quite an old activity. Where it used to be done for food initially, it became a hobby and a status symbol later on. Gradually the hunting of animals for their skins and parts became an industry and big fashion brands, home decor companies, shoe manufacturers started using them for different products. Apart from hunting, the development of urban areas, pollution and destruction of natural habitats played a vital role in increasing the risk of extinction of some of the most beautiful animals in Pakistan. Tripkar has compiled a list of ten of the most endangered animals of Pakistan.
Found at altitude of approximately 3000 to 4000 meters, snow leopards consist of long and thick fur resulting in a reduced heat loss. This enables them to survive in low temperatures. The fact that less than 2500 mature breeding males now exist in the world, snow leopards have been regarded as endangered species.
Indus River Dolphins
Indus River dolphins are one of the most endangered animals of Pakistan. Locally known as Bhullan, a Sindhi word, Indus River Dolphins were entitled as endangered when it was discovered that only approximately 1300 of them exist in the River Indus between Chashma and Kotri Barrages. The main reason of them being endangered is extensive fishing leading to a shortage of prey for the Indus River Dolphins. Dumping of waste into the river is another major threat to the species.
Asian Black Bear
Also known as the moon bear or white-chested bear, Asian Black Bears have subspecies known as Baluchistan Black Bears found in the mountains of Baluchistan and are one of the most endangered animals in Pakistan. Some common places where Baluchistan Black Bears are spotted includes higher hill ranges of Toba Kakar and Takht-e- Suliman, Khuzdar, Ziarat and Kalat. Increased hunting has been a major reason why this bear, locally known as ‘mum’, is included in the list of most endangered species of Pakistan.
One of the most beautiful animals of Pakistan is Markhor which is a goat that lives on difficult terrains. Markhors feel protected against predators including snow leopards and wolves in dangerous areas where they live. The main beauty of our national animal is the long twisted horns.
Mountain weasels are mainly found in higher altitudes in Kashmir and are cute little animals. However, the human development, construction of roads and overgrazing is reducing their food supply due to which unfortunately their population is decreasing.
Baluchistan Forest Dormouse
A rodent of the family Gliridae, Baluchistan Forest Dormouse is a tiny rat-like animal. The reason why they became endangered is that they usually form an ingredient in medicines. The Baluchistan forest Dormouse may look ugly but has a crescent shape on their chest.
Marco Polo Sheep
With long unique horns and large body size, Marco Polo sheep are distinguished from other species in the mountainous regions of Pakistan and are one of the most endangered animals of Pakistan. The species were titled as “threatened” in Pakistan by International Union for Conservation of Nature and hence requires attention to prevent extinction.
Found in the entire Indus River System of Pakistan, freshwater turtles have been listed as the most endangered species of Pakistan due to illegal trading of body parts of the soft shell species. Also, development of urban areas leading to fragmentation, scarcity of water and water pollution are other factors leading to the extinction of freshwater turtles.
Banded Eagle Ray
A part of eagle ray fish family, banded eagle rays are endangered species found in shallow water and low sea areas. The main reason why they are endangered is habitat loss mainly due to water pollution.
Finally, another species that requires special attention due to its decreasing population in Pakistan is Vole. Burrowing voles are decreasing in Azad Jammu and Kashmir area and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Livestock grazing and human development are the two main reasons why they are at a risk of extinction.
Other species like black Finless Porpoise, European Otter and Marbled Polecat are also listed as the endangered species of Pakistan.