As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday 18 July 2016

Feature: Saving Rare Birds of Pakistan

July 15, 2016, 5:04 pm
By Muhammad Shahzeb

Pakistan, situated in the South of Asia, is homeland to unique flora and fauna.  This country is blessed with amazing diversity in terms of land and climate. It has snow-capped mountains, sandy beaches, desserts, plateaus, wetlands, lakes and plain fields It is not only home to a wide range of native birds but also attracts millions of birds across the world, from places as far as Siberia.

However even in such lucrative conditions, ecological and geographical diversity ranging from tropical to mountainous, arid zones to fertile lands, there are some birds’ species, which are enlisted as endangered species. Rapid urbanization, unauthorized bird hunting, deforestation, intensification of agriculture, increasingly sophisticated waste disposal practices, natural and man-made disasters have disrupted the delicate ecological balance consequently hampering the biological surroundings of these birds, disrupting food chain and breeding grounds.

Sarcogyps calvus commonly known as red-headed vulture is one of the birds which is at the risk of extinction. This magnificent bird which was a breeding resident in the Salt Range and Jhang was spotted regularly however now it is a rarely seen perhaps near Tharparkar border areas.

The northern region of Pakistan is bestowed with dry temperate forests especially in Indus-Kohistan (Hazara) district which is home to Western horned tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus). It gets its name “Tragopan” from the displaying males’ resemblance to the mythological Greek god Pan “Tragos “goat” +Pan). This bird is considered to be the rarest of all living pheasants. It is an endangered species both in Pakistan and globally.

The houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulate) is a bird of arid zones. It is an endangered bird. Every year this endangered bird migrates to the deserts of Baluchistan.  Though officially protected this bird is hunted as game bird especially to please foreign dignitaries and royalties. Due to unregulated hunting and government neglect the population of Asian Houbara has come decimated todangerous level.

The greater adjutant (Leptoptilos dubius) is huge bird hailing from the order Ciconiidae.

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