International Insight : Pakistan
The National Parks of Pakistan
Hingol National Park
Hingol National Park covers about 1,650 km² and is the largest of National Parks of Pakistan and lies on the Makran coast in Balochistan and approximately 190 km from Karachi. The area was for the first time declared reserved in 1988. The park area covers parts of the three districts, namely; Lasbela,Gawader and Owaran of Balochistan province containing a variety of topographical features and vegetation, varying from arid sub tropical forest in the north to arid mountain in the west. Large tracts of the NP are covered with drift sand and can be classified as coastal semi desert. The National Park includes the estuary of the Hingol River which supports a significant diversity of bird and fish species.
Currently, 20 staff members including 18 game watchers, two deputy rangers are responsible for the management of the Park under the guidance of the park Manager who reports to the Conservator and the Secretary Wildlife, Forest, Livestock, Environment and Tourism.
Kirthar National Park
'Kirthar National Park, second biggest National Park of Pakistan, is located in Kirthar Mountains range. It is also the first National Park from Pakistan to be included in the 1975 United Nation's list of National Parks around the world. Kirthar is an area of outstanding beauty and cultural heritage which provides important habitat for a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. Approximately one third of the park lies in the north of Karachi district and two thirds in the south-west of Dadu District. Surjan, Sumbak, Eri and Hothiano Game Reserve lies just to the east of the park. There are two tourist centers in the Park managed by Sindh Wildlife Management Board, namely Khar and Karchat. The centers offer cottage, and dormitory accommodation and guides are available. There are some 671km of unmetalled roads within the park, most of which are negotiable only by four-wheel drive vehicle.
There are now over 5,000 wild goats, about 1,250 urials and less than 150 chinkaras in the park, and a further 400 wild goats and 70 urials in the game reserve besides 58 species of birds. The Sindh Ibex population was estimated at 13,155. The reptiles includes Rock python, Sind cobra, Russell's viper,Saw-scaled viper, Sindh krait, Royal rat snake, Tortoises, Desert Monitor lizard, Yellow Monitor lizard, Sindh Crocodile and different species of lizard and chameleon.