Nothing Special Essay

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BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN PAKISTAN PAKISTAN’S VEGETATIVE ZONES L Permanent snowfields and glaciers Dry alpine and cold desert zones Alpine scrub and moist alpine Himalayan dry coniferous with ilex oak Himalayan moist temperate forest Sub-tropical pine forest E G E N D Sub-tropical dry mixed deciduous scrub forest Balochistan juniper and pistachio scrub forest Dry sub-tropical and temperate semi-evergreen scrub forest Tropical thorn forest and sand dune desert Mangrove and littoral Sand dune desert Protected Areas Management Proposal IUCN, Islamabad. WRRI-NARC/PARC Islamabad, April 1997. Adapted from: Roberts, T.J. 1991. The Birds of Pakistan, Vol.1. Oxford University Press, Karachi. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN PAKISTAN B eing a transitional zone between three zoogeographical regions — the Palearctic, the Oriental and the Ethiopian — and a country with rapid changes in altitude that affect vegetation and wildlife, Pakistan has some of the world’s rarest animals and plants. In the mountainous regions of the north, lives the endangered snow leopard, Uncia uncia, famous for its spotted coat and survival skills. Further south, the Indus dolphin, Platanista minor, is an endemic mammal, whose survival has been threatened by the building of barrages along the Indus River. There are the Indus wetlands, critical for the waterfowl population that visit the area in winter — the Indus flyway is globally considered the fourth major bird migration route. Among plants, Saussurea lappa, locally known as kut, is endemic to the alpine regions and is considered an endangered species. Another important medicinal plant is Ephedra procera, used as a cardiac stimulant and an antidote for bronchial asthma and hay fever. Pakistan has a long history of human settlements. Evidence of early civilizations dating from 3000 BC have been found in Harappa and

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