Pakistan is located in the transition zone between two of the World's six zoogeographical regions, the Palearctic and the Oriental, with the further addition of species from the Ethiopian region. It includes examples of two of the world&aqute;s eight biogeographic realms: the Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic; four of the world's ten biomes: desert, temperate grassland, tropical forest and mountain. This combination has made it an interesting place with great diversity of wildlife.
Pakistan contains some of the world's highest cold areas and lowest hot areas and many intermediate stages, resulting in a great diversity of ecological systems. This has resulted in a variety of habitat types, hosting rich and diversified wildlife species. Presently, 174 mammals, 668 birds, 177 reptiles, 22 amphibians and 198 freshwater and 788 marine fish species are reported in Pakistan. A number of wildlife species are endemic, including 6 mammals, 13 reptiles, 9 amphibians and 29 freshwater fish species. Pakistan is also inhabited by one of the world's smallest surviving mammals, the Mediterranean Pygmy Shrew and occasionally in its coastal waters, the largest mammal ever known to exist, the Blue Whale.
Pakistan also has global importance due to its location on the flyway to Central Asia and Northern India. The birds breeding in Central and Northern Asia migrate via Afghanistan as well as higher parts of the Himalayas and usually follow Indus valley which provides ample food and favorable habitat for them. Hence, Pakistan provides winter refuge for millions of migratory ducks, geese, flamingoes, houbara bustard and other migratory bird species.
During the last three to four decades, wildlife populations have declined dramatically in Pakistan and currently, 20 mammals, 25 birds, six reptiles, one amphibian and six fishes are listed as threatened. The causes for wildlife population decline are primarily human-related and include encroachment by human population for agriculture, degradation of habitat, uncontrolled hunting, and removal for export. Bottlenecks being faced by the national and provincial departments and organizations responsible for conservation of wildlife include weak institutional technical capacity, lack of availability and development of inventory and baseline data on wildlife and protected areas, absence of recovery plans for endangered species, low public awareness about wildlife, etc.
Trained professionals with sound knowledge on various aspects of wildlife conservation are pre-requisite for undertaking management operations for the improvement in wildlife populations. Currently, only a few such professionals are available in the country and there is dire need to produce such experts who can address the issues related to education, training and research on wildlife biology and conservation. They must have know-how about current status and issues of wildlife in Pakistan, technical knowledge of wildlife biology, population ecology, fundamentals of wildlife management, wildlife habitat requirements, wildlife legislation in Pakistan, international linkages in this field, how to deal with communities in the wildlife areas, etc.
To impart education and conduct research for conservation and management of wildlife resources and their ecosystems.
To develop and communicate the knowledge necessary for enhancing conservation and management of wildlife and their habitats for the greatest aesthetic, ecological, economic, and recreational values.