Kirthar National Park
The Kirthar National Park is situated in the Kirthar Range Mountains in Karachi and Jamshoro District in Sindh, Pakistan. It was founded in 1974 and stretches over 3087 km², being the second largest National Park of Pakistan after Hingol National Park. The fauna comprises leopards, striped hyenas, wolves, ratels, urials, chinkara gazelles and rare Sind wild goats. Blackbuck antelopes are kept in enclosures for a reintroduction project at Kirthar National Park. However, most large predators have been extirpated.
The last leopard was shot in 1977. Khirthar National Park qualifies strict criteria of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and is the largest (308733 hectares) and first of Pakistan’s national parks to be included in the 1975 United Nation’s list of National Parks and Equivalent Reserves. It has amazing secrets and surprises in store for scientists and naturalists, who shall find here an exciting field of study and research.
The park is accessible by jeep able tracks. Two rest houses of Sindh Wildlife Department are also exists there for tourists stay. Best time to visit the park is mid October to November and December to mid March. The park area is arid with mean annual precipitation of 150-200 mm. Most of the rainfall occurs during July and August. Temperature often remains extreme, exceeding 38O c during most of summer. There are two main climatic seasons; winter (Oct-Feb) and summer (Mar-Sept). There have been drought conditions in the park for the last five years from 1996 upto 2001 with no rains resulting in the extreme stresses on the wildlife.
This park was established in 1974. The area of the park is mainly Government wasteland. Before partition, this area was used as a hunting reserve of ‘Talpurs’ but after the creation of Pakistan the head of the Burfat tribe enjoyed the same privilege. In order to check habitat degradation, a Range Management Project was started in 1965 by Forest Department. In the same year, the park area lying in Karachi District was re-classified as Protected Forest. Most of the tract was declared a Game Reserve in 1970. The present park area was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1972 under the provisions of Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972 and in 1974 this Sanctuary was converted into Khirthar National Park.