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The term 'species of special concern' is defined to include endangered, threatened and nationally important species, irrespective of their global status.
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Introduction to Pakistan Wildlife Biodiversity of Pakistan Ecological Zones of Pakistan

Section 3: Species of Special Concern  

Though little data is available, there is little reason to believe that Pakistan's biota is exempt from this rapid decline. Within the last 400 years, at least four mammals are known to have disappeared from Pakistan: the tiger (Panthera tigris), swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli), lion (Panthera leo) and the Indian one-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). A further four species are also extinct: the Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), the Indian wild ass (Equus hemionus khur) and the Hangul (Cervus elaphus hanglu) have most likely become extinct in recent decades (Roberts 1977, Khan and Hussain 1985). The fourth species, the blackbuck (Antelope cervicapra) was listed as an extinct species but has been bred in captivity.

Internationally Threatened 
The latest IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 1996) lists 37 species and 14 sub-species of internationally threatened or near-threatened mammals that are found in Pakistan (Appendix A). Of these, two are critically endangered, nine endangered, 11 vulnerable, 23 near-threatened, five data deficient and one conservation dependent. The critically endangered mammals are the Balochistan black bear (Ursus tibetanus gedrosianus) and the Chiltan goat (Capra aegagrus chiltanensis). The full list of threatened and near-threatened mammals includes: four species of bats (Chiroptera), two species of primates, three species of dogs (Canidae), three species and two sub-species of cats (Felidae), one species of otter (Mustelidae), and one species and one sub-species of bear (Ursidae). The list also names three species of cetacean, one species and one sub-species of Artiodactyla, one sub-species of Cervid, 11 species and nine sub- species of Bovidae (antelopes, goats, sheep, etc.), one species of pangolin (Manidae), and seven species of Rodentia.

Twenty-five internationally threatened birds (one critically endangered, two endangered, and 22 vulnerable) and 17 internationally near-threatened birds are found in Pakistan (Collar and Andrew 1994, IUCN 1996) (see Appendix B). One critically threatened bird is the lesser florican (Eupodotis indica).

Ten internationally threatened reptiles occur in Pakistan (three endangered, three vulnerable, three near threatened and one data deficient), but there are no internationally threatened amphibians in Pakistan (IUCN 1996) (see Appendix A). The latest Red Data Book (IUCN 1996) additionally lists one species of fish, the spiny eel (Macrognathus aral) and one species of invertebrate, a butterfly (Hyles hippophaes) as data deficient.

Species of National Concern
Lists of internationally threatened species show only the tip of the iceberg. For example, while only 5% of European birds are of global conservation concern, a further 33% have unfavourable conservation statuses in Europe (Tucker and Heath 1994). While there is little data available to demonstrate the decline of species' populations in Pakistan, the accelerating loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitats clearly imply such declines. Habitat fragmentation isolates the population of a species, exposing them to a higher rate of loss of genetic diversity and a higher risk of extinction (UNEP 1995). A few preliminary attempts have been made to draw up national lists of threatened species. These include a list of some 500 species of plants believed to be nationally rare or threatened (Davis et al. 1986). No comprehensive and systematic list of species of national concern has been compiled for Pakistan. Such a list would include species, which are nationally rare and declining, and those that are nationally rare, and not declining, but otherwise at risk (e.g. from population fluctuations, natural catastrophes, indiscriminate killing, etc.). The list would also include those that are highly localized in distribution and those, which are still widespread and common but are suffering significant decline.


References and Credits:

  • First National Report on the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, LEAD Pakistan, Ministry of Environment and Local Government Pakistan and UNEP.

  • COUNTRY REPORT BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION IN PAKISTAN, Ejaz Ahmad Conservation Director, World Wide Fund For Nature - Pakistan.

  • BIODIVERSTIY CONSERVATION IN PAKISTAN : AN OVERVIEW, Muhammad Ajmal Director (Industries & Ozone) Ministry of Environment, Urban Affairs, Forestry and Wildlife C/O Pakistan National, Commission for UNESCO.

  • Ali, S.I. 1978. The Flora of Pakistan: some general analytical remarks. Notes, Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh, 36:427-439.

  • EUAD & IUCN. 1992. The Pakistan National Conservation Strategy. EUAD & IUCN, Pakistan.

  • Groombridge, B. 1988. Balochistan Province, Pakistan: a Preliminary Environmental Profile. IUCN & WCMC, Cambridge, UK.

  • IUCN. 1990. IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

  • Khalid, Z.M. 1996. Biotechnological Solution to Coloured Effluent from Textile Industry. Natura, 22(2) : 6-7.

  • NCCW, 1978. Wildlife Conservation Strategy: Pakistan. National Council for Conservation of Wildlife, Islamabad, Pakistan. Unpublished Report, 73 pp.

  • Reid, W.V. 1992. "How Many Species Will There Be?" In: T. Whitemore and J. Sayer, (eds.), Tropical deforestation and species extinction. Chapman and Hall, London.

  • Roberts, T. J. 1977. The Mammals of Pakistan. Ernest Benn, London, UK. 361 pp.

  • Roberts, T. J. 1986. Critical Ecosystems in Pakistan. Report to World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. Unpublished 10 pp.

  • Roberts, T. J. 1991. The Birds of Pakistan. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press, UK.

  • Sadeque, N. 1986. Plants. In: M. Carwardine (ed.), The Nature of Pakistan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

  • Stewart, R.R. 1982. An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of West Pakistan and Kashmir. Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad, 1028 pp.

  • WCMC. 1991. Biodiversity Guide to Pakistan. IUCN & WCMC, Cambridge, UK.

  • Biodiversity Table: NCOS Sector Paper on Natural Capital by abdul Latif Rao & Abeedullah Jan.



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