Distribution and Status of Vertebrate Fauna of Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary, Khirthar Protected Area Complex, Sindh

M. A. IQBAL, M. Z. KHAN, G. S. GACHAL, S. ZUBAIR

Abstract


Mahal Kohistan being a very significant habitat for wild fauna. The present study was undertaken during 2014 to 2017 to document the habitat use, distribution and status of vertebrate fauna (mammals, birds and reptiles) at Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary. Point Count, Roadside Count, Line Transect and Pellet Count methods were used during the study to record the encountered species. A total of 29 species of Mammals, 78 species of Birds and 36 species of Reptiles were recorded from various habitats types in the area like Mountain Ridges, Ravines, Mountain Escarpment, Stony Ground/ Rocky Area, Sandy Plains, Wetlands, Riparian Areas, Villages/ Agriculture areas and Wasteland. 8 threatened species were recorded including critically endangered, Caracal and Striped Hyaena endangered, Indian Wolf, Sind Ibex, Urial, Chinkara, Egyption Vulture and Imperial Eagle as Vulnerable. The area is protected but still it is facing certain severe threats especially due to the dependency of the local communities on the natural resources present within the study area in addition to developmental actives, exploration of minerals, and increased frequency and intensity of droughts due to changing climatic conditions. It is recommended that the Management Plan of the (KPAC) may be implemented in full at the earliest.


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