Tuesday, May 24, 2011

KHIRTHAR NATIONAL PARK (PAKISTAN-SINDH)

                     
                 
                    


Khirthar National Park located just 140 km away from Karachi and can be reached easily through super highway. This park is Pakistan's second biggest National Park. It is one of the 4 parks in Pakistan to be included in the United Nations list of national parks around the world Approximately one third of the park lies in the north of Karachi district and two thirds in the south-west of Dadu district. It was founded in 1974. The total area of the park is more than 308,000 hectares. Sindh Wildlife manages the park, where they have developed two main centers: Khar and Kharchat There are two tourist centers in the Park managed by Sind Wildlife Management Board, namely Khar and Karchat. The centres offer cottage and dormitory accommodation and guides are available.


                      

This park may be visited for recreation and education. It is the best place for the nature lovers and for adventurers who enjoy Jungle safari, hiking, trekking, camping and Angling. This park gives opportunity to watch number of wild animals, birds and reptile. Khirthar is an area of outstanding beauty and cultural heritage which provides important habitat for a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles characteristic of the arid subtropics.

                     


There are 34 species of Mammals in the park include Sindh leopard Stripped Hyena , Desert Wolf Indian Fox ,Sind Wild goat, Blandford's Urial , Honey Badger, Indian Pangolin , Caracal, Jungle cat,  Jackal, Chinkara, Gazelle, Black Buck ( Reintroduced ) Hedgehog, Porcupine, Indian Grey Mongoose, Cairo Spiny mouse  and the Rock Mouse. Birds species are 58, which are Lammegier vulture, Bonnelli's eagle, Imperial eagle, Tawny eagle, Golden eagle, Eurasian griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Cinereous vulture, Lagger falcon, Red-headed merlin, Kestrel, Close-Barred sand grouse, Houbara bustard, Grey partridge, See See partridge, Stone Curlew, Indian sand grouse, Coronetted sand grouse, Painted sand grouse, Eagle owl , Sind pied woodpecker, Hume's chat, Brown rock pipit, Striped buning, Finche larks, Hoopoe, Shrikes and Wheatears. Reptiles are the Rock python, Sind cobra, Russell's viper, Saw-scaled viper, Sind krait, Royal rat snake, Tortoises, Desert Monitor lizard, Yellow Monitor lizard, Sind Crocodile and different species of lizard and chameleon.


          
 
Khirthar National Park is also rich in cultural heritage There are several 18th century Chaukundi style tombs at Taung, pre-historic rock paintings and archaeological remains at Koh Tarash, and one of the world largest fort named “Rani Kot”. Rani Kot is the largest fort in the world, with 10 metre high sandstone ramparts stretching for a distance of 32 kilometers. From a distance, some of the walls resemble the Great Wall of China and also known as “The Great Wall of Sindh” or “Deware Sindh”. Ranikot is two hours by jeep from Karchat.

              

The trip from Karachi is via Super highway. First reach to khar which is approx 95 km from Karachi and than Hub Dam. On a small plateau about 16 Kms. from the dam, is the comfortable tourist complex Khar Centre managed by Sindh Wildlife Department. Kharchat is more than 160 km. Khirthar’s headquarter is Kerchat. The road to Karchat is improper. For visit to the park, four-wheel-drive (4X4) vehicles are appropriate.

             


There are two visitor centers at Karchat and Khar, and two sub-centers at Thano-Ahmed Khan and Bachani, which are managed by Sindh Wildlife Department. These centers offer overnight stay facilities. There are several rest houses, with running water and cooking facilities, in both locations, and can be easily booked through the Sindh Wildlife in Karachi. They also rent tents if anyone is interested.


                
 The best season to visit Khirthar National Park is from mid of October to mid of March



                                              

Watching animals in the cage is an entirely different and unrealistic experience in comparison with that of national park. Khirthar Park is a place where you can capture the indisputable expressions of various animals and birds. If you are an avid nature lover, photographer, traveler, adventurer or wildlife lover then Khirthar national park is the place where you will meet all your needs.Khirtahr national park is a destination which can be easily reached from major cities. It is well connected by major means of transportation. Mainly popular with corporate people and masses living in metropolitan cities, these destinations have always fascinated tourists.

Monday, May 23, 2011

KHIRTHAR NATIONAL PARK (PAKISTAN-SINDH)

The Khirthar National Park is located in Pakistan It is situated in the Mahal Kohistan area in  Dadu district of  Sindh Province , bisecting Sindh-Balochistan border and about 140 kilometers north of Karachi  It is one of the 4 parks in Pakistan to be included in the united nations list of national parks around the world.. It is stretched over 3087 square kilometers of rugged mountain desert. It is the second largest National Park of Pakistan. It was established in 1974.


It is well known with in and outer the country as a protected refuge of Sindh Ibex, wild sheep, urial,  Chinkara , Gazelle Sindh Leopard, Stripped Hyena, Desert Wolf, Indian Fox, Sind Wild goat, Blandford's Urial, Honey Badger, Indian Pangolin, Caracal, Jungle Cat, Jackal, , Black Buck (Reintroduced ), Hedgehog, Porcupine, Indian Grey Mongoose, Cairo Spiny Mouse, Houbara Butard,, Rock Mouse, Lammegier vulture The Winter migratory visitors are a rare treat to watch  for the nature lovers and number of other wild animals, birds,  and reptile.


The government of sindh has provided special facilities to the tourists interested in wildlife and nature. SindhWildlife manages the park, where they have developed two main centers: Khar and Kharchat. Kirthar belongs to IUCN Category II protected area, designated mainly for ecosystem preservation The centers offer cottage and dormitory accommodation and guides are available. There are some 671 km of rugged road within the park, most of which is flexible only by four-wheel drive vehicle. 

Approximately one third of the park lies in the north of Karachi district and two thirds in the south-west of Dadu district. The park is part of protected areas complex, being contiguous with Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary to the south and Hab Dam Wildlife Sanctuary to the south-west. Surjan, Sumbak, Eri and Hothiano. Game Reserve lies just to the east of the park.


Khirthar National Park is natural-untouched beauty, where the landscape, wildlife and vegetation flourish. No proper roads have left this park in its natural state, where both flora and fauna flourish in the picturesque landscape. The landscape of Kirthar hills forms a natural refuge for all kinds of wildlife and vegetation. Various forms of mammals and reptiles such could be seen inside the park. The park is home to some rare species of mammals as well as a great variety of birds. In addition the vegetation of the park comprises of various forms of shrubbery, flowers, and trees. The fauna comprises leopards, striped hyenas, wolves, ratels, urials, chinkara gazelles and rare Sind wild goats. Blackbuck antelopes are kept in enclosures for a reintroduction project at Kirthar National Park.


There are 34 species of Mammals in the park include Sindh leopard Stripped Hyena , Desert Wolf Indian Fox ,Sind Wild goat, Blandford's Urial , Honey Badger, Indian Pangolin , Caracal, Jungle cat,  Jackal, Chinkara, Gazelle, Black Buck ( Reintroduced ) Hedgehog, Porcupine, Indian Grey Mongoose, Cairo Spiny mouse  and the Rock Mouse.


Birds species are 58, which are Lammegier vulture, Bonnelli's eagle, Imperial eagle, Tawny eagle, Golden eagle, Eurasian griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Cinereous vulture, Lagger falcon, Red-headed merlin, Kestrel, Close-Barred sand grouse, Houbara bustard, Grey partridge, See See partridge, Stone Curlew, Indian sand grouse, Coronetted sand grouse, Painted sand grouse, Eagle owl , Sind pied woodpecker, Hume's chat, Brown rock pipit, Striped buning, Finche larks, Hoopoe, Shrikes and Wheatears.


Reptiles are the Rock python, Sind cobra, Russell's viper, Saw-scaled viper, Sind krait, Royal rat snake, Tortoises, Desert Monitor lizard, Yellow Monitor lizard, Sind Crocodile and different species of lizard and chameleon.
 

The park area is arid with mean annual precipitation of 150-200 mm. Most of the rainfall occurs during July and August. Temperature often remains extreme, exceeding 38O c during most of summer. There are two main climatic seasons; winter (Oct-Feb) and summer (Mar-Sept).Its geological formations are calcareous. Limestone predominates in the hill ranges and the deposits of calcareous material are common in the valleys. Sandy limestone, shells, sandy shells and sandstone also occur throughout the range. Underground water, which tends to be brackish in limestone, is fresh in sandstone formations. Here are petrified trees, calcified fossils and much more to discover. The abundance of gastropod and arthropod fossils around Dawoo Dam and patches of petrified forests near Ranni Kot and Bachani provide enough evidence that the Khirthar Range once formed the bed of the sea.

Khirthar National Park is also rich in cultural heritage apart from the abundance of wildlife There are several 18th century Chaukundi style tombs at Taung, pre-historic rock paintings and archaeological remains at Koh Tarash, and one of the world largest fort  Rani Kot. Rani Kot is the largest fort in the world, with 10 metre high sandstone ramparts stretching for a distance of 32 kilometers. It is located in the Kirthar Range, about 30 km southwest of Sann, and approximately 90 km north of Hyderabad. From a distance, some of the walls resemble the Great Wall of China and also known as “The Great Wall of Sindh” or “Deware Sindh”. Ranikot is two hours by jeep from Karchat. Another way to access RaniKot is from Saan, about four hours from Karachi via Hyderabad.
The best season to visit is from October to February. Five furnished rest houses with cooking facilities and running water are situated on the edge of a wide valley in the center of the park at Karchat. They can be booked through the Sindh Wildlife Management Board, which also hires out tents. The adventures included Jungle safari, hiking, trekking, Camping, Angling and skiing.



Sunday, May 22, 2011

MARKHOR (National animal of Pakistan)

                            MARKHOR


The Markhor (Capra falconeri) is a large species of wild goat that is found in Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Nagar Valley, northern and central Pakistan.  The Markhor is the National Animal of Pakistan.


The name is derived from the Persian word “Mar”, meaning snake, and “khor”, meaning "eating", which is sometimes interpreted to either represent the species' ability to kill snakes.  Markhor has the ability to kill the snake and eat. It is also possibility that name is derived as a reference to its corkscrewing horns, which are somewhat reminiscent of coiling snakes.



Markhor stand 65 to 115 centimetres at the shoulder, 132 to 186 centimetres in length. It has the highest maximum shoulder height among the species in the genus Capra. It weigh  32 to 110 kilograms .The skin is of a grayish, light brown to black color, and is smooth and short in summer, while growing longer and thicker in winter. The fur of the lower legs is black and white. Markhor males have longer hair on the chin, throat, chest and shanks. Females are redder in color, with shorter hair, a short black beard, and are mane less. Both sexes have tightly curled, corkscrew-like horns which close together at the head, but spread upwards toward the tips. The horns of males can grow up to 160 cm long, and up to 25 cm.



Markhor are adapted to mountainous environment, and can be found between 600-3,600 meters in elevation. In the season of spring and summer periods they graze.  But turn in winter they surf only, sometimes standing on their hind legs to reach high branches. Markhor live in flocks, usually numbering nine animals, composed of adult females and their young.


The Markhor (Capra Falconeri) mainly inhabits the sparsely wooded mountainous regions in Northern and Western Pakistan, at an elevation of 600-3,600 m. The total world population is mainly found in Pakistan.






Tuesday, May 17, 2011

LAKE MANCHAR (PAKISTAN-SINDH)



      
Lake Manchar is located in Pakistan (Dadu District, Sindh). It Coordinates are  26°25′23″N 67°40′23″E / 26.423°N 67.673°E. It is at a distance of about 18 kms from Sehwan Sharif, west of the River Indus. It is the largest freshwater lake of Pakistan and also one of Asia's largest Lake. The surface area of the lake fluctuates with the seasons from 350 km² to 520 km².





When Sukkar Barrage was constructed in 1930s, this lake was formed. Manchar Lake is fed by two canals, the Aral and the Danister from the river Indus. The lake collects water from numerous small streams in the Kirthar Mountains and empties into the Indus River.





There is not abundance of fish in the lake but how ever it provided a livelihood for a large number of fishermen. Fisher folk who depend on the freshwater fish they caught in this lake.  The lake also provided large volumes of water for irrigation for various crops and aquatic plants including lotus.




Pakistan due to its diverse weather and varied land is home to some of the rare and exclusive birds in the world. Its lakes attract millions of migratory birds from across the globe specially Siberia each year. Manchar Lake is a stop-off on the Indus flyway for migratory birds. During the winter, migratory birds come to this lake in very large numbers. It is an important breeding and wintering area for a wide variety of water birds. Around 25,000 birds have been recorded in the environs of this lake. Manchar Lake has rich potential to serve as a habitat for large variety of birds.



Presently the large numbers of birds have fallen. It is because lake fish has reduced which the main food of birds is. Due to environmental degradation, the water is becoming saline and killing off the fish. The degradation has been occurring for a long time but recently the effects have been felt.