Biodiversity in Pakistan (PAK)
  FishBase Complete Literature Reference
Species Families Species Families
Marine 391 143 No
Freshwater 27 11 Yes 159 Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten, 1996
Total 416 154 No
Ref.   Microsoft, 1996
Conservation In Pakistan the population growth is very rapid, putting pressure on the agricultural sector and the remaining forests. Wooded cover actually increased by 20 per cent during the 1980s, but deforestation of natural forests was and is rapid. Almost half of the country’s 5,000 plant species are medicinal. Most Pakistanis do not have access to potable water. Agricultural output per capita has increased by about 20 per cent since 1980, although with 23 per cent of the arable land irrigated, there have been problems with increased salinity. Pakistan is a signatory of most of the major global conventions, including those covering biodiversity and climate change. While there is information on the fish species that occur in Pakistan, there is no information on current conservation status. The following information is to be sought: - Existence of conservation plans; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information.
Geography and Climate Pakistan is dominated by the great lowland basin drained by the Indus river system. The land rises steeply northwards to the mountains of the Hindu Kush. Baluchistan in the west is an area of semi-desert plateaux and mountain ranges. Temperatures are generally warm except in the mountains. Rainfall is monsoonal with amounts varying according to altitude and aspect. The Indus basin is one of the driest parts of the Indo Pakistan subcontinent. Northwest cyclones bring some winter rains but most precipitation is received from the southwest summer monsoons between July and September. Climate varies from the dry semi-desert in Sind and Punjab to the severe high-altitude climate in Hunza, Gilgit, and Ladakh. In the plains winter temperatures may touch freezing point while July temperatures may reach 42°C. Jacobabad, located west of the Indus River, has often recorded temperatures of 49°C.

Ref.  Petersen, M.R., 1981
Hydrography The Indus is the principal river of Pakistan. Over one-third of its drainage area lies in the mountains of western Tibet and in Jammu and Kashmir state in India, and the remaining in the semi-arid plains of Punjab in Pakistan. The Indus rises in the Kailash range in southwestern Tibet at an altitude of 5,100 m. The major rivers that join it in its upper reaches are Zaskar, Shyok, Hunza and Gilgit. It enters the lowland plain near Attock after receiving the tributary of the Kabul. After Attock it becomes a slow-flowing silt-laden stream reaching a small delta at Karachi. The major Indus tributaries are all snow-fed. In winter the discharge is at its lowest and floods occur during the rainy season between July and September. The fauna of the Indus is very similar to that of the Ganges and Brahmaputra and a number of fish species are found only in these rivebs (e.g., @Barilius vagra@, @Salmostoma bacaila@, @Labeo dyocheilus@ and @Nemacheilus corica@). Two monotypic genera, @Securicula@ and @Catla@ are centered on these three basins. There are also, however, differences between the faunas of these rivers, particularly between that of the Indus and those of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. The latter two have a common delta and their faunas at lower altitudes are practically identical, differences appear especially between the faunas of tributaries in the hilly regions. The faunistic characteristics of the rivers of northern India/Pakistan as a whole are very different from those of Peninsular India. Thirty-six genera of primary freshwater fishes present in the basins of the three rivers are absent from southern India. The number of fish species decreases westwards, from the Brahmaputra to the Ganges and Indus. The aquatic fauna of the Indus is poorer than that of the other two basins. The local nemacheiline loaches differ greatly from those of the Ganges-Brahmaputra. The northern Indian @Nemacheilus corica@ and the widely distributed @Acanthocobitis botia@ are the only species shared by the two areas.

Ref.  Petersen, M.R., 1981
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