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Endangered Species of Balochistan

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Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, is a natural habitat for a variety of unique fauna. From its mighty mountains to the scenic beaches it offers a home to the idiosyncratic species of the world. Balochistan has a land patch which is highly suitable for the migratory birds. However, it is unfortunate that no proper measures are taken to safeguard the lives of these animals. Today, animals in Balochistan are a victim of hunting and illegal trade. Moreover, extreme violation of the animal rights does not only come from the natives but also high profile tourists.

Suleman Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan and is an inhabitant of the rugged Sulaiman Mountains range in Khilafat Mountain, Ziarat. It is hunted for its quality of meat and long strong horns. The increase in its hunt has lead the animal in danger of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has put Suleman Markhor in the red list of threatened species. A recent survey in the Sulaiman range and Khilafat mountainous range showed that only six female and one male Markhor were spotted in the area.

It is not only hunting that is the major cause of the endangerment of all unique and rare animals, but the other environment violating factors such as deforestation, population expansion, and pollution play an equally important role in the disruption of the ecosystem putting the lives of the rare animals in danger. Balochistan Forest Dormouse, another unique animal that is near to be extinct, is exclusively found in the juniper forests of the Ziarat. Factors such as deforestation and other environmental threats are a reason there is an exponential decrease in its population.

The Houbara Bustards, which is otherwise called MacQueen’s bustard or Asian houbara, is a migratory bird of Balochistan also under the threat of extinction. Now that the Pakistani government has put a permanent ban on the hunting of the Houbara bustards especially for the Arabs, the Arabs still travel each season from the gulf to the countries where they can hunt these birds in bulk because they believe it is extremely beneficial for health. Every season, the birds migrate from the freezing Siberia to Balochistan, which is why it has become the center of attraction for Arab hunting enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, it is not only the animal living on land whose life is in danger, but the marine mammals and other sea animals are also under the fear of extinction. The list of the endangered species includes sawfish, whale shark, silky shark, oceanic whitetips shark, thresher shark, hammerhead shark, mobula rays, guitarfish dolphin and marine turtles. Mobula ray and sawfish are under a severe threat of extinction. The government of Balochistan has taken an initiative in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund to protect the fast-shrinking marine species especially sharks. The government has banned retention, hunting, fishing, trade, and marketing of all the endangered fishes marine turtles and berried carbs. This official ban is expected to help the endangered and vulnerable species.

The government must protect the bird and the other rare animals as well before it is too late. It has to come up with policies that not only ban hunting completely but also provide a solution to preserve and safeguard birds and marine life species. For example, in 1980, the trophy hunting was introduced for the conservation of the Markhor. According to a report, there was a rapid increase in the number of the species as a result of it. Moving forward, there is an utter need for a comprehensive initiative for the betterment of the declining eco-system, be it an awareness project for the natives or the introduction of strict passes for hunting to the tourists. Strict ban on hunting and unlawful trading of precious animals should be implemented.

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Moneeba Javed is a second-year MBBS student at Bolan Medical College, Quetta. She was named as the Best Writer by Afaq Association back in 2014. She has also been a part of the Literary Society at Federal Government Degree College.

3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Inayatullah baloch on

    There must be special law against those who hunt Markhors. They must be, at least, imprisoned for 8 years.

  2. Avatar

    actually is does not covers 2 percent of the date related to endangerd species of balochistan currently i had wriiten a piece on the issues of biodiversity of balochista being student of zoology (wildlife ) i strive to put remedoes causes and impacts that will be soon come to publish … in last i lauded such piece for considering and hoghlighting them

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