Sindh Ibex – Hingol National Park

Sindh Ibex is a mountain goat family that lives in the rugged dry mountainous areas of southern Pakistan. As the name suggests, Kirthar National Park in Sindh is famous for its natural habitat. However, Sindh Ibex also lives in Hingol National Park, Balochistan.

Surprisingly it was easy to meet Sindh Ibex coming to the water in the dry Hingol National Park. It was at the sacred Hinglaj Mata Hindu Temple (also called Nani Mandir) inside the national park. When I approached the shrine, Sindh Ibex was eating grass in quite a close distance.

 

A male Sindh Ibex. There are two types of Ibex in Pakistan. Himalayan Ibex in the Northern Mountains and Sindh Ibex in the mountains of Sindh and Balochistan. The male horn of Sindh Ibex astoundingly grows 1m long.

 

Gorgeous female Sindh Ibex and its baby.

 

Going forward, suddenly I saw a group of Ibex emerging from just above the cliff. Generally, Sindh Ibex seems to move in relatively large groups.

There were a lot of trophy-sized males (ones with large horns permitted to trophy hunting). In Pakistan, Ibex trophy hunting is taking place. However, it is only prohibited inside the national parks and hunting is operated under the rules and regulations by the community forest. For 2019, 50 Himalayan Ibex and 24 Sindh Ibex in Pakistan are allocated for trophy hunting slots.

Hunting?? In this era?? No doubt, I am against hunting, but Pakistan’s hunting situation is likewise identified with conservation and the endurance of the local villagers. Trophy hunting targets only large horned individuals who have no more ability to reproduce. Subsequently, these profits are given to villagers, so villagers crackdown on illegal hunting. Therefore, it is said that the Ibex population has increased in both the northern and southern regions since this system was established.

 

Energetic young males began battling with their horns.

 

It’s like a fighting practice. A male Ibex show dominance by fighting with a horn over females when they reach maturity.

 

Photo & Text  : Mariko SAWADA
Visit : Feb 2019, Hinglaj Mata/Nani Mandir, Hingol National Park,  Balochistan

Category : ◆ Balochistan > - Hingol National Park > - Ibex > - Wildlife of Balochistan
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Grey Francolin -Balochistan

A Grey Francolin, which lives in the courtyard of a local guesthouse in Kund Malir. For a moment I was bewildered, when I heard a loud voice, she was just so close to me. It seems that this courtyard is the territory of this Grey Francolin couple, so no matter whether a person or a car is passing by, they do not care at all.

Grey Francolin lives in the dry flat area of the Indian subcontinent. It is a wild bird deprived of the place to live due to the land development.

In Haryana State of India, I went to observe Grey Francolin early in the morning. Particularly, at that time I thought Grey Francolin is a very shy bird who would not approach towards any human. Nonetheless, I was slightly surprised at how Grey Francolin is walking around the courtyard freely.

・・・Grey Francolin, rubbing her body on the ground. It was a very lovely moment to gaze at.

Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation : Feb 2019, Kund Malir, Balochistan

Reference : Birds of Pakistan, Birds of Indian Subcontinent(Helm Field Guide)

Category : ◆ Balochistan > - Wildlife of Balochistan > ◇ Birds of Pakistan
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Egyptian Vulture -Balochistan

Egyptian Vulture sighted at the Makran Coast in Balochistan, Pakistan.

Egyptian Vultures are broadly spread from the Iberian Peninsula across North Africa and India. In Pakistan, it breeds amid the summer season in the Balochistan province. They more often feed on carrion – rotting flesh of a dead animal – and sometimes prey on small birds and reptiles. These vultures were once a common bird in Pakistan, but its number has been decreased drastically due to the loss of habitat because of infrastructure development. Consequently, it has become very rare to sight Egyptian Vulture.

Upper wing of Egyptian Vulture; It is 60 cm to 70 cm in size, smaller compared to the other vultures. Not to mention, these magnificent creatures have their own distinct features. For instance, they have a small and pointed head with a bare yellowish face, dull white feathers, and black flight feathers.

Down wing of Egyptian Vulture. An Egyptian Vulture flying over the lively fishing village of the picturesque Makran coast, Balochistan, Pakistan.

 

Photo & Text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation : Feb2019, Makran Coast, Balochistan

Reference : Birds of Pakistan

Category : ◆ Balochistan > - Wildlife of Balochistan > ◇ Birds of Pakistan
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