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Two thirds of the landscape of Afghanistan is occupied by mountainous terrains with little or no vegetation, typical of an arid country. For this reason, the vegetation in these terrains play a vital role in the ecosystem.

Half of the remaining parts of the country's landscape are deserts, which are hostile environments. The rest are farmlands and pastures. 

Wildlife of Afghanistan

Afghanistan has long been known for its rich and diverse wildlife, tigers and cheetahs have been present in lowland parts of Afghanistan until the mid-twentieth century.

Many of the larger mammals in the country are categorized by IUCN as globally threatened. These include the Snow Leopard, the Markhor, the Marco Polo Sheep, the Urial, and the Asiatic Black Bear. Other species of interest are the Ibex, the Gray Wolf, and the Brown Bear. Most of the Marco Polo sheep and Ibex are being poached for food, whereas wolves, Snow leopards and bears are being killed for damage prevention.

Sampling Afghanistan's wildlife

  • Altai weasel (Mustela altaica)
  • Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus)
  • Asiatic brown bear (Ursus arctos)
  • Caracal (Caracal caracal)
  • Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra)
  • Geoffroy's Bat (Myotis emarginatus)
  • Gray wolf (Canis lupus)
  • Hare (Lepus tolai)
  • Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica)
  • Kashmir Cave Bat (Myotis longipes)
  • Leopard (Panthera pardus)
  • Lesser Horshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
  • Long-tailed marmot (Marmota caudata)
  • Lynx (Lynx lynx)
  • Marco Polo sheep (Ovis ammon polii)
  • Markhor (Capra falconeri)
  • Mehely's Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi)
  • Mouflon (or Urial) (Ovis orientalis)
  • Pallas’ cat (Otocolobus manul)
  • Pikas (Ochotona sp)
  • Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
  • Sind Bat (Eptesicus nasutus)
  • Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)
  • Stoat (Mustela erminea)
  • Stone marten (Martes foina)
  • Wild Goat (Capra aegagrus)
  • Zarudny's Jird (Meriones zarudnyi)

National Parks and Protected Areas in Afghanistan

The World Database on Protected Areas indicates that there are four National Parks, one National Reserve, two Wildlife Reserves, four Waterfowl Sanctuaries, and other protected areas including national heritage sites, wildlife managed reserves, and landmarks in Afghanistan.

National Parks in Afghanistan

  • Ab-i-Estada
  • Ajar Valley
  • Band-e Amir
  • Nuristan

National Reserves in Afghanistan

  • Zadran

Wildlife Reserves in Afghanistan

  • Ajar Valley
  • Pamir-i-Buzurg

Waterfowl Sanctuaries in Afghanistan

  • Ab-i-Estada
  • Dashte-Nawar
  • Hamun-i-Puzak
  • Kole Hashmat Khan

Other Protected Areas in Afghanistan

  • Bamiyan National Heritage
  • Darqad (Takhar) Wildlife Managed Reserve
  • Imam Sahib (Kunduz) Wildlife Managed Reserve
  • Khulm Landmark
  • Northwest Afghanistan Game Managed Reserve
  • Registan Desert Wildlife Managed Reserve
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 12:13