Climate change-induced floods inflict huge losses to KP wildlife.

PESHAWAR -- Notwithstanding the climate change-induced floods, the wildlife was one of the most affected sectors following destruction of its habitats, sanctuaries and protected areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where an estimated Rs97.64 million losses were reported.

Breaking the 30 years record, the August 27 devastating floods, which started from Mataltan, Osho, Uthror and Upper Kalam valleys in Swat washed away everything that came across its way including the aquatic species and wildlife sanctuaries.

Swat, Chitral, Kohistan, Manshera and Abbottabad were among the worst affected areas in terms of substantial damages caused to wildlife by the flash floods.

The gushing water has mostly engulfed the wildlife's habitats, conservancies, watchers huts, national parks, peasantries and protected areas in these districts by inflicting huge losses to wild mammals, reptiles and birds.

'The destruction of wildlife and aquatic species' habitats and sanctuaries by the recent flash floods was apparently linked to the climate change. Pakistan for so many years remained among the 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change and no solid efforts were made by the international community to help it to counter this monster challenge,'" said Dr Mumtaz Malik, former Chief Conservator of Forests KP while talking to reporter.

Showing his grave concerns over the loss of precious water, he said 'climate change has two dimensions whether there may be a lot of water in the shape of floods or drought in result of minimum rainfall and in both the situations the wildlife and aquatic resources were the biggest victims.'

The wildlife guru said that 90 different wildlife species including siberian crane, white backed vulture, long-billed vulture, red-headed vulture, saker, peregrine falcons, hawksbill sea turtle, Kashmir grey langur, indus dolphin, finback whale, Baluchistan bear, musk and hog deers, pangolin, egyptian vulture, green turtle and narrow-headed turtle were endangered by the climate change.

Dr Mumtaz said around 786 wildlife species found in Pakistan including 186 reptiles and 173 mammals, and about 90 species including 50 mammals, 27 birds and 17 reptiles were placed in categories of endangered, vulnerable and near to extinction.

He said floods and drought destroy wildlife's flora at their grazing habitats especially in wet lands as well as in high alpine pasture areas and in such situation they come down to lower areas for food sometimes attacked humans and...

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