Ministry for Climate Change launched a survey to prepare the first-ever Pakistan-specific red list of the wildlife species that are on the verge of extinction across the country.
The data would be collected in collaboration with the globally-recognized conservation organizations. Climate Change Secretary Hassan Nasir Jami said that lack of adequate data about the status of wildlife species and their habitats had been a hurdle to ensure conservation and protection.
He said that Pakistan red data list will be the most comprehensive inventory of the wildlife plants, animals, and other organisms of the global importance that will help guide and boost initiatives for conservation and protection of wildlife species, threatened with extinction risks.
Hassan Jami said that the data collection for the red list would be based upon precise criteria being practiced globally to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. Ministry’s senior official Suleman Warraich said nearly 50 scientists and biodiversity experts, researchers, surveyors, university students from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN-Pakistan), World Wide Fund (WWF-Pakistan), Zoological Survey of Pakistan and Wildlife Conservation Society Pakistan, had been engaged for the data collection.
Suleman, who is also a team leader of the red list initiative, said that their teams are visiting various parts of Pakistan for evaluating threats to the survival of existing wild animals, plants and other organisms. Before sending teams in the fields, he said that they were imparted capacity-building training on modern lines.
“The red list will be a critical indicator of the health of the biodiversity, which is beset with various risks to their sustainability,” he said and termed the list as a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for conservation and policy change. Suleman Warraich said that it will also provide information about a range, population size, habitat, and ecology, use or trade, threats and conservation actions that will help take necessary decisions.
IUCN-Pakistan country head Mehmood Akhtar Cheema said that the Climate Change Ministry’s efforts for rolling out a first Pakistan-specific list would go a long way in the conservation and protection of the wildlife species, particularly those which were at heightened risk of extinction. He pledged to extend every possible support to the ministry for formulating the list.