Most of you will be aware that Pakistan has snow leopards and that I’ve blogged on snow leopard research there many times. However today I just want to put this blog’s voice towards supporting the humanitarian aid that this country needs after recent events.
Sadly catastrophic human suffering is unfolding in Pakistan, with a fifth of the country under water, and millions of people homeless. People desperately need help but international response has been slow and relief workers warn that the death toll could sky-rocket.
We can help by sending a contribution, large or small, to the most reliable aid organization in your country. I’m sure you all know your local agencies such as Red Cross, UNICEF and others.
A local report by Syed Mujahid Ali Shah highlights the impact of the disaster on snow leopard habitat in Pakistan.
“The recent heavy rains in northern mountainous belts of Pakistan are hardly going to spare wild fauna from devastating their habitats as that of human population.
The unusual heavy summer rainfall situations are opposite to that of normal weather conditions of snow leopard habitats in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges of Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral. This drastic change in climate can create vegetation rich landscape situation where snow leopards and its prey species cannot live.
As the ideal habitat of these animals is open semi desert rocky mountains—out of dense vegetations like those of Chilghoza pine near nival zones of Himalayas and Karakoram. On the other hand huge rainfall situations, as some recently recorded 100 mm/h in Baltistan and Ladakh regions, being semi desert rocky hills, they are easily eroded and lose most of the soil. What leaves behind may be just rock, unable to produce enough fodder for the species of Markhor, ibex, Marcopolo sheep and the musk deer on which snow leopards thrive. Isn’t the world becoming so unsafe for both human and animals from carbon emissions in bulk? If timely steps were not taken to cut the greenhouse gases by the industrialised nations, such species would just wither away.”