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Special Conservation Projects in Sindh

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Introduction

Since its inception under the Ordinance of 1972, the Sindh Wildlife Management Board has formulated and implemented several wildlife conservation projects in Sindh, with the technical and financial assistance of IUCN, WWF and others. Government may by notification declare that the board shall be dissolved on such date and with such consequences as nay be specified in the notification. Those of international importance are as under.

Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land

— Aldo Leopold

1. Research and Conservation of Marine Turtles

Of the five species of marine turtles occuring in our coastal waters, two species namely, the Green turtle, Chelonia mydas and Olive Ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea were classified as 'endangered species' in the Red Data Book. The Government of Sindh took a serious note of it. As an initial step, all the species of marine turtles were declared 'protected' under the Sindh Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and a strict ban imposed on all types of trade in turtles and their products.

In July 1980, the Sindh Wildlife management Board in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan started a three years pilot projects on conservation and research of the above referred species. Later WWF-International also joined the project which continued upto June 1983. Since then the project is being implemented by the Government of Sindh from its own resources.

Under this project, four enclosures or so called 'turtle nurseries' have been constructed at Hawkes Bay/sandspit. The eggs of these species are collected and buried in protected enclosures. When the hatchlings emerge they are safely released into sea. The eggs, hatchlings and adults are weighed, measured and carefully examined for abnormality or diseases. On an average, 30,000 hatchlings are safely released to the sea each year. Thousands of turtles have been lagged to study the growth rate and extent of their movement in the sea.

special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

2. The Indus Dolphine Project

When G. Pilleri, the author of famous book 'The Secrets of the Blind Dolphin' visited Pakistan to investigate the existence of Blind Dolphi in 1974, he was only able to count a total of 150 individuals in the River Indus. As a result of this study, the Indus Dolphin was listed as endangered species in the Red Data Book of IUCN. During that very year, the stretch of the river Indus between Sukkur and Guddu Barrages was declared as Game Reserve.

In 1977, the Sindh Wildlife Management Board in collaboration with IUCN, WWF and Volkart Foundation launched a research and protection programme to identify the conservation requirements of this unique species. Although international funding ceased in 1980, the government of Sindh continues to run a conservation programme. And as a result of these efforts, the latest count of the dolphins reveal a figure of more than 429 individuals.

special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

Conservation is the humanity caring for the future

3. Protection and Conservation Of Wetlands

In 1970, the Government of Sindh in association with International Waterfowl Research Bureau began conducting surveys of the migratory waterfowls on the important lakes of Sindh. Identification and counts of waterfowls were made at different sits. The study revealed that Pakistan with the Indus Delta can be regarded as one of the most important wintering areas of waterfowl in Eurasia. Sindh abounds hundreds of rich wetlands, the majority of these hundreds of thousands of waterfowls spend their winters in the wetlands of Sindh. According to an estimate about 250 species of waterfowls take refuge in the wetlands of Sindh. Of these, 120 are permanent residents while rest are summer visitors, winter visitors or passage migrants.

At the pursuation of the Government of Sindh, the Government of Pakistan ratified the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International important.

Wetland Management training courses were also organized jointly by the Indus flyway Committee, WWF-International and the Sindh Wildlife Management Board. Participants from all the four provinces of Pakistan, the Zoological Survey Department, Pakistan Forest Institute and WWF-Pakistan attended these courses. The courses were conducted by Mr. P. Conder OBE, former Director of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds. The trainees were given intensive field training in identification, censusing, distribution and the ecology of waterfowls.

special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

4. Conservation of Houbara Bustard

The Houbara Bustard is a resident of Central Asia and Siberia. It migrates to Pakistan in November and return in March. Russian Biologists studied that there was no significant change in its numbers between 1956 and 1967, but from 1968 onwards there was a clear and rapid reduction in its population, So alarming was the threat of its decline that it was listed as vulnerable by the Red Data Book in 1990. The Sheikhs from Arab countries were responsible for its mass destruction and the Government of Pakistan could not take any action against them as they belong to friendly Islamic Countries.

Since Pakistan is signatory to the International Conservation on the protection of Migratory bird species, it has now been declared as 'protected species' in Pakistan. A project sponsored jointly by the Pakistan Government, IUCN and WWF, with expertise from ICBP has led to the establishment of six extensive sanctuaries to protect the houbara, two in each of the Provinces of Punjab. Sindh and Baluchistan.

special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

If conservation of natural resources goes wrong,

Then nothing else will go right.

5. Introduction of Pheasants and Crocodiles in Sindh

The freshly laid eggs of the Peafowl, Pavo cristatus are collected every year from areas in Sanghar and Tharparkar districts, and taken to hatcheries at the khar Centre of Kirthar National Park near Hab Dam. After the eggs hatch, the young ones are reared for about a year till they are mature enough to be released into their natural habitat.

The marsh crocodile, Crocodylus palustris is an endangered species as much of its habitats has been converted into cultivated lands. In july 1983, the Government of Sindh launched a project to preserve this species. Not only this species has been declared as 'protected' but heavy penalties has been imposed for its killing or poaching. As a result of conservation programme by the Sindh Wildlife Management Board, the latest count of the crocodiles reveal a figure of more than 2000 individuals in 30 marshes of Nawabshah District.

special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

Overall

Beside the above mentioned research projects of international significance, a number of research and conservation schemes of lower magnitude are being run in Sindh under the Sindh Wildlife Department. These include,

  1. The improvement of habitat at the Kirthar National Park.
  2. Conservation of Hogdeer and Grey and Black patridges.
  3. Captive breeding of Crocodiles, Python and Monitor lizards and
  4. At Wildlife Research Centre, black bucks, chinkara and goitered gazelle (imported from Iran) are kept in enclosures so as to study their biology, behaviour and reproductive biology.
special-conservation-projects-in-sindh

We have forgotten how to be good guests,

How to walk lightly on the Earth,

As its other creatures do

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 AQSA SHAHID

Comments

AQSA SHAHID (author) from Gujranwala on March 02, 2021:

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AQSA SHAHID (author) from Gujranwala on March 01, 2021:

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AQSA SHAHID (author) from Gujranwala on March 01, 2021:

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AQSA SHAHID (author) from Gujranwala on March 01, 2021:

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