Category Archives: Species

Man: A growing threat to Sharks

By Hebah Essa

In the next one hour that I would be writing this piece of blog; 11,000 sharks around the world would fall prey to humans.  (Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks, 2013) The shark population along the coast of Sindh and Balochistan face increasing risks every day with Pakistan, being the eighth highest exporter of shark fins in the world. (Dawn, 2016) It is true that a fisherman, who spends days out in the sea hoping to be able to catch enough fish to sustain himself and his family throughout the year, would jump to the idea of catching a shark because of its economic value.

Sharks and rays are increasingly demanded all across the world for their fins and gill plates. In fact; their economic value has increased in the recent past due to the rising demand for shark meat. In the Pakistani market, shark meat sells for about 2.5 to 3 US dollars per kilogram while commercially priced fisheries, such as Tuna, sell for about a dollar or a dollar and a half per kilogram. These aspects make sharks a very attractive hunt.

Copy rights WWF

However, these sharks are endangered species and if they are hunted at the same speed that they are today; the next generation would be alien to their existence. In fact, we have successfully managed to destroy most of the marine habitat and are, today, left with less than one third of the marine species that existed two decades ago. According to the WWF living planet report 2016, Sharks, Rays and Skates are threatened with extinction due to over fishing. (WWF Living Planet Report, 2016)

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People at the heart of WWF-Pakistan – Moazzam Khan

By Fatima Arif

Moazzam Khan, is one of the leading marine experts in Pakistan. He has two Masters degrees, one in marine biology and the other in zoology. Thirty years of his professional career were dedicated to government service where started out as a Research Officer in the Centre of Marine Biology. Later, he went on to become Director General, Marine Fisheries Department; CEO of the Fisheries Development Board and Project Director of Gwadar Fisheries Training Centre among many other positions that constitute his career.

Dedicated to the cause of marine conservation, Moazzam sahib was not going to confine himself to a retired life after the competition of his government service. Once that phase of his career came to an end, he joined WWF-Pakistan as a Technical Advisor – Marine Fisheries to continue working to ensure a world where people can live in harmony with nature.

Copy rights WWF-Pakistan

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Metamorphosis

By Ayesha Aman

People say the woods are scary, I hear them whispering about it when they’re passing through. I never understood why, maybe it was because they didn’t know it as well as I thought I did. It was the only place I’ve ever called home. My daddy brought us to this part of the forest when the elder called for our species to grow. They used a very hard word, something like extension or extinction – mommy said he meant us deer were dying out. So I left my friends behind and followed my parents all the way here. Continue reading

Warmer Temperatures are Escalating Human-wildlife Conflict in Northern Fringes of Pakistan

On Snow Leopard Day this year we highlight the threat this beautiful big cat faces. 

For livestock herders Shafyat Ali and Muhammad Ibrahim, life has changed.  In Hoper Valley, Pakistan, global climate change has had a visible impact on the environment so crucial for their livelihoods.  Over the last 25 years the snowline has shifted upwards by about 1,000 m. Vegetation has shifted upwards with it, and summers are warmer and longer. This means herders have had to change their traditional behaviours; “Twenty years back we used to stay in high altitude pastures from mid-May till mid-September but now they go 10 to 15 days early (mid-April) and return back late again 10 to 15 days (first week of October) from the pastures.” Continue reading

Farewell to Pangolin

Usually, I go to bed late at night. I read an article or go through an eye-catching and inspirational book. But when I fail to find something interesting, I turn on the television. I believe that newspapers, media and books are a good source of information and keep people updated with the latest developments in the world. Above all, social media has made human interaction and access to information easy in far reaching areas. In the current era, one can get in touch with family and friends in any corner of the world in just a few moments. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. It could be rightly called the power of media in general and social media in particular. Relating to this, there is a story that I want to share with my colleagues and other readers. Continue reading

Snow Leopards: Survival Of The Panthera uncia

By Shahrukh Nasim

The visualization is quite appealing, slightly smaller than large cats but the tail extending out tremendously. The extensive fur, along with its smoky gray and golden color makes it almost glamorous. They are known as “mountain ghosts” due to their elusive nature. They are known to adapt to the hardest environmental conditions. They tend to be unknown in whatever step they take in the wildlife. Continue reading

Capturing Wildlife Moments – A rare sighting of a monitor Lizard on its hind legs

Monitor lizard on hind legs (2)Monitor lizards derive their names from the word ‘monitor’ as they tend to stand on their hind legs and scout the area for any predators, thus it should not be a surprising element to the sighting of a monitor lizard standing on its hind legs. However, it does give rise to curiosity and makes the moment rare enough to be spotted on the exact same time to be able to locate and position to take a clear shot from a camera. The occasion is bound to be filled with adrenaline rush and amazement making it a wildlife moment for me, and to able to document it in my wildlife diaries is a rare moment. Continue reading

Green Turtle – A blessing in disguise

Published on 14 December 2014

Coffee Table Book 2011, Coastal AreasPakistan is blessed with a coastline which stretches for 1050km and is home to a number of rare reptiles such as the Olive Ridley, hawksbill, leatherback and green turtles. Of these, all but the green turtle are rarely reported from the area. The green turtle arrives annually on the beaches of Sandspit, Karachi to lay its eggs. These turtles, a gift of nature, not only protect marine life by feeding on harmful algae but also restore the environment’s balance. Continue reading