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WILDLIFE

 

 

Most of today's vistors to the Pamirs are interested in the environment and particularly the fauna and flora of the region. I have therefore decided to include a Wildlife section, providing links to websites and blogs with relevant information. I am indebted to Jean-Marc Gayman, initiator of two expeditions to the Pamirs by the French Lepidopterists Association, for the idea of creating this section.

Wildlife is threatened in the Pamirs: not only the well-known large mammals, such as the snow leopard (see the site of the Snow Leopard Conservancy below) and the Marco Polo sheep (Ovis Poli), but also and certainly more surreptitiously the extraordinary butterflies of the Pamirs (see the stunning photos on the website of the French Lepidopterists on the links under Butterflies below). They report evidence that the population of Parnassius Autocrator, found only in the Pamirs (and there only in three locations) and in North-Eastern Afghanistan has been almost totally destroyed by commercial poaching.

 

pamirs butterflies lepidopterist parnassius autocrator

Parnassius Autocrator female, E. Pamirs, Sasyk (photo : A. Zhdanko)


In a remarkable local initiative, former hunters have begun to create nature conservancies in and around their villages - see here and here.

For further reading I recommend highly, of course, the Odyssey book Tajikistan and the High Pamirs - A Companion and Guide, published in June 2008, which contains the following chapters:

Birding Tajikistan by William Lawrence (page 245)

Butterflies of Tajikistan by Jean-François Charmeux and Jean-Marc Gayman (page 247). N.B. The three first links under Butterflies below describe expeditions by Jean-François, Jean-Marc and their lepidopterist colleagues in France.

Flora of Tajikistan by Peter Cunnington (page 250)

Birds and Mammals in the Eastern Pamirs by George Schaller (page 652)

The Snow Leopard: Phantom of the High Mountains by Rodney Jackson (page 654)

The illustrations below are from the work of Nicolai Alexseyevich Severtsov (1827-1885), the Russian scientist: his expedition to the Pamirs in 1878 brought back specimens of 20,000 plants (representing some 1,000 different species), 60 mammals, 350 birds and 20 fish.

 

pamirs wildlife marco polo sheep ovis poli severtsov

pamirs wildlife marco polo sheep ovis poli severtsov

pamirs wildlife birds severtsov

pamirs wildlife birds severtsov

 

Links

The listing below is by no means complete and if your website/blog is not here, or if you know of another useful site, please contact me at the e-mail address on the Home Page.

The residents of the the beautiful village of Bachor (in Shughnan - one of the starting points for trekking to Sarez) are working to protect local wildlife with the support of the Snow Leopard Conservancy. For information on wildlife in and around Bachor see
here.

Endangered Species

The Mountain Ungulates Project in Tajikistan, operative since 2008, has recently opened a website describing its activities for the protection of wildlife in Tajikistan, in particular the Marco Polo sheep (Ovis Polis): see here. The project is implemented by the Tajik NGO "Nature Protection Team" with support from the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP, Germany) and GTZ's Regional Programme "Sustainable Use of Nature Resources in Central Asia". The project is supported by a wildlife management expert provided by the "Centre for International Migration and Development" (CIM). Congratulations to Stéphane Henriod, Stefan Michel and their team.

 

pamirs snow leopard conservation

Photo Stefan Michel

Links on endangered species:

General


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Fauna_of_Tajikistan

Butterflies

http://dinets.travel.ru/parnassius.htm

http://lepido-france.fr/2008/07/ete-2006-expedition-au-kirghizistan/

www.lepido-france.fr/2008/07/juillet-2007-expedition-au-tadjikistan/

www.lepido-france.fr/2008/10/expedition-au-tadjikistan/

http://lepido-france.fr/2009/11/photos-de-parnassidae/

http://lepido-france.fr/2009/12/satyrium-superflua-deria-moore-1865-espece-nouvelle-pour-le-tadjikistan/

http://lepido-france.fr/2009/09/apercus-sur-la-faune-du-tadjikistan/

www.discovery-central-asia.com/archive/2007/summer2007/sm5.htm

http://people.math.jussieu.fr/~jmichel/photos/tadjik/index.html

www.satento.com/pamirs.htm

www.satento.com/title_and_summary.htm

http://www.lepido-france.fr/revues/annee-2007-2/

http://research.yale.edu/peabody/jls/pdfs/1960s/1961/1961-15%281%291-Wyatt.pdf

Birds

www.bird-stamps.org/country/tajiki.htm

www.bsc-eoc.org/links/links.jsp?page=l_asi_tj

www.birdlist.org/tajikistan.htm#BIRDING

www.centralasiabirding.com

Snow leopards

www.snowleopardconservancy.org/

http://news.mongabay.com/2008/1028-interview_jackson.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2175293/Endangered-snow-leopards-tagged-Afghanistan--promptly-100-mile-hikes.html

And some magical footage from the second German TV channel ZDF here.

Marco Polo sheep (Ovis Poli)

www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/

http://www.cic-wildlife.org/

Domesticated Animals

http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/culture/animals/animals.html

Flora

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v58/n1508/abs/058493a0.html#top

http://asraresokhan.com/flora.html


 


All text and photographs (c) Robert Middleton 2002


Web master Romanyuk Mikhail