Conservation of endangered species in Pakistan
Pakistan is a land blessed with a wide variety of plant and animal species but at the same time, consciously or unconsciously; we destroy our most prized possession. Every winter, thousands of birds migrate from Central Asia to Pakistan for about six months and since there is no law for legal hunting in Pakistan, it gives poachers a chance to hunt these birds down illegally.
Migratory birds especially Houbara bustard are commonly found in Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar (tehsil fort Abbas), Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzafargarh, Layyah, Bhakkar, Jhang districts of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan during the winter season.
The population of Houbara bustards in Pakistan which was declining rapidly a few decades ago has stabilized in the last decade and some of the credit for this work goes to WWF-Pakistan which is working tirelessly to protect this bird.
In summer season when migratory birds leave the country, wildlife departments focus on protecting Blackbucks, Chinkaras and Deers as their poaching becomes rampant during summers.
Provincial wildlife departments’ basic aim is to protect animals against poaching and for this purpose they conduct periodic population surveys but due to lack of resources they are unable to do it accurately. For example, only one jeep is available to the district wildlife officer to do population assessments in the whole district.
It has become evident over the past couple of decades that in order for conservation projects to succeed, they require thorough co-operation from local communities by providing them basic awareness. In return, conservation projects designed to protect wildlife also benefits the local communities in upscaling their living standards as they find other means to earn better.