Pakistan has an array of terrains throughout its territory and the wildlife is even more diverse and varied. Due to the spread of human civilization, many of the species have seen a fall in population and some special, interesting creatures have now been given endangered status in Pakistan. Tripkar brings you a list of few remarkable and endangered animals in Pakistan:
This majestic specie of goats is the national animal of Pakistan. The Markhor is the largest species of goats in the world. One of the most endangered animals in Pakistan, Markhor is frequently hunted by people all over Pakistan for its horns. Their habitat is the mountainous Northern areas, especially Ghizar, Chitral and Hunza. Sadly, the Markhor are slowly dying out due to destruction of habitat and being hunted as trophy or for food by the locals. The Markhor holds a special importance in Pakistan due to its revered status. The most eye-catching feature of this animal is the corkscrew shaped horns that can grow to a stunning length of 160 centimeters! The males also have distinctive long dark beards on their chin. Another specialty of these goats is their ability to jump up to 6 feet high, enabling them to climb mountains with ease.
The world famous Indus Dolphins are a species that came into being in 1998 when their diverse features differentiated them from the Ganges Dolphin. One of the endangered animals in Pakistan Indus dolphins are hunted extensively. Since Indus River is the main source of water for Sindh and Punjab, reduction of water levels is leading to the extinction of the Indus Dolphin, along with other hazards such as being trapped in fish nets and water pollution. Over the last few years, the Indus Dolphin has gained a lot of international attention and now there are many projects trying to save this marvelous creature from extinction. The truly amazing feature of this marine mammal is that it is almost blind, which no one can guess from their swift motion through the rivers of Sindh. The Indus dolphin has a distinctive long, thin beak with which it can feed on underwater creatures such as prawns and fish but it can also catch birds as prey from the water’s surface!
The Moon bears are delightful creatures that are endemic to the South East Asian terrains. One of the endangered animals in Pakistan, moon bears are now rescued at Tao Dam sanctuary in Vietnam. They prefer to have mountainous and heavily forested areas as their habitat. Moon bears have been given an endangered status due to being hunted for their fur and gall bladders which are used in traditional Asian medicine. These playful creatures are exploited widely by humans and are a victim of the demand for traditional medicines in Asia. Moon bears have been given their mystic name due to the crescent shaped tan fun on their chests, which is thicker in females. Each bear has a different crescent shape on their chest. Moon Bears can weigh 150 kg on average and are 4 to 6 feet tall. With features like that, it may come as a shock that they are excellent tree climbers! Moons Bears love honey and other sweet foods, and have developed a strong sense of smell that helps them track their favorite treats in the wildlife. These creatures are very playful and love to be in shallow waters where they swim or just splash around for fun!
One of the larger cats from the feline species, the Fishing Cats can grow to be an average of 20 pounds. Hunted down extensively, fishing cats is one of the endangered animals in Pakistan. They have long and stocky bodies and are found on river bands that are heavily vegetated. These cats are hunted for their fur and meat by the locals, due to which they have been given an endangered status. Fishing Cats are, however, much more tolerant to human behavior. The Fishing Cats, as their name suggests, prey on fish by attracting them by tapping on the water and then claw them out of the water. They have webbed paws which they can use to scoop out water critters, frogs and snakes as well. The Fishing Cats may use their intelligence most of the time to prey, but they are physically capable of preying on dogs and swimming underwater to feed on larger fish as well. Overall, these cats are very interesting creatures with a surprising skill set and intelligence level.
Lesser Florican (Likh)
Another endangered animals in Pakistan is the lesser florican. The largest of the Bustard family, the Florican or Likh is only 45-61 cm. It has a small ball like slender body with longish legs and bill. Due to its small size, after spreading of humans the Lesser Florican’s population has declined drastically during the past few years and is still declining rapidly. It has been given endangered status. The Lesser Florican is a treat to watch. Males have tufts and plumes of feathers on their head, neck and under-parts giving them a distinctive look. During mating season they leap up to two meters in the air beating their wings furiously, and then tuck in their wings and fall swiftly back the earth. These energetic little creatures can do this up to 500 times in one day to impress females and show dominance in their territory. These birds are very interesting and seek out curiosity of any nearby audience.
These are only a few of the truly amazing creatures that can be witnessed in Pakistan. Efforts are being made to breed and protect these creatures as the world would be a much less vibrant place without them. If you visit their habitual areas, be sure to capture the sight of these astounding animals!