Monthly Archives: September 2006

Sea Turtles in Pakistan

The Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) are two of the seven species of sea turtles in the world that nest at the beaches of Pakistan every year. For over a 100 million years of the earth’s history, sea turtles have made the oceans their home. They are a species so ancient they have seen the dinosaurs evolve and go extinct. Their habitats range from the tropical to sub-tropical regions of the world. The sandy beaches of Sindh and Baluchistan are important nesting sites for sea turtles. Spending most of their lives in the oceans, adult turtles return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs. After an incubation period of about two months the youngsters hatch and scramble towards the water. Only one in a thousand survive to adulthood. Continue reading

Karachi Zoo elephant dies

Anarkali, Karachi Zoo’s 65 year old female elephant died in July this year. Upon her death she became food for the other zoo animals. Her body is to be stuffed and put on display in the zoo’s natural history museum while the zoo’s director, Mansoor Qazi, considers ways to get another elephant soon.

In recent years there has been a growing public debate around the world about the ethics of keeping elephants in zoos. Had Anarkali not been taken away from her natural habitat in the wild she would have lived in a large social group and roamed up to 20 miles a day foraging for food and water. Her complex physical, behaviourial and social needs were certainly not met at Karachi Zoo, where she spent six decades after being captured from Bangladesh in the 1950s. Continue reading

Saving Hingol National Park

The ugly head of Pakistani politics and corruption rears its head once again: The Pakistan Air Force and Suparco are trying to “acquire land”: in the Hingol National Park. The Hingol National Park is the largest National Park in Pakistan, and is one of three globally significant national parks in Pakistan, as selected by the “Global Environment Facility”:

The Pakistan Air Force has already destroyed one National park, now they are gunning for another one. The IUCN sadly reports on the Maslakh wildlife sanctuary after the PAF moved in: *”All flagships wildlife species have been eliminated from the area”.* Continue reading