Chitral National Park

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Chitral National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Map showing the location of Chitral National Park
Map showing the location of Chitral National Park
Location Chitral, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Coordinates 35°56′N 71°40′E / 35.933°N 71.667°E / 35.933; 71.667Coordinates: 35°56′N 71°40′E / 35.933°N 71.667°E / 35.933; 71.667
Area 7750 hectares hectares
Established 1984
Governing body Wildlife and Parks Department of Government of Pakistan

Chitral National Park is one of the National Parks of Pakistan. It is located in Chitral District in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan beside the Chitral River, at a distance of two hours drive from Chitral town. The park is also known as Chitral Gol National Park.[1][2]

Legal status[edit]

Up until 1983, Chitral Gol was considered to be the private property of the former Mehtar of Chitral. The status of the park has been in dispute since and has become the issue of ongoing litigation between heirs of the former Mehtar and the Government of Pakistan.[3][4]

Parameters[edit]

The way leading to the park is quite narrow and dangerous, yet more risky during the rainy days. It is located between 1450 metre and about 5000 metre above sea level. It has an area of 7750 hectares.[5]

Fauna[edit]

Meadows of Chitral Gol National Park. Photo courtesy: Tahsin Shah for Wiki Loves Earth

This park includes three valleys. Several glaciers also lie in the park through which several springs make their way and ultimately form a stream which runs 18 kilometres. The cold water of this stream flows towards the east, into the River Chitral. The park is rich in trees particularly cedar trees. The park also serves to provide shelter to a vast bio-diversity, especially markhor, an endangered wild goat species.[6] The subspecies, which are found in the park include the astor markhor. Despite a decline from over 500 to only around 200 individuals in the park during the 1980s, Chitral National Park still holds the largest population of the astor markhor in the world.[7] Also present in the park in small numbers are the siberian ibex, ladakh urial, as well as the asian black bear. The snow leopard does not appear to be a permanent resident of the park, but is sometimes seen there. The tibetan wolf, red fox, yellow-throated marten and himalayan otter are all found in the park. Common birds in the park include, the bearded vulture, himalayan vulture, golden eagle, demoiselle crane, peregrine falcon, himalayan snowcock, himalayan monal, snow partridge and rock partridge.[8]

Weather[edit]

The annual rainfall in its region is estimated to be 462 ml. In September, it rains more on the spectacular peaks surrounding the park. However, in November, the rainfall is more in the valleys and on the lower peaks. There is also snowfall during the winter season. The snow-covered white peaks enhance the beauty till June. The general weather is cold and dry. The temperature ranges from -12.2 to 43.3 °C.[9][10]

Birmoghlasht[edit]

The Birmoghlasht part of the park is where the former Mehtar’s Summer Fort is located. At the time of existence of the Chitral State, the Mehtar and his family use to move here in the summer and hold court. The fort was constructed in such a way that it overlooked the entire city.[11] It stands at an elevation of over 2800 meters above sea level.[12][13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Camerapix (1998-01-01). Spectrum Guide to Pakistan. Interlink Books. p. 319. ISBN 9781566562409. 
  2. ^ Singh, Sarina (2008-01-01). Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781741045420. 
  3. ^ "Chitral National Park". National Parks in Pakistan. 
  4. ^ "Wildlife of Pakistan: National Parks of Pakistan". 
  5. ^ "Chitral Gol National Park - Documentary". 
  6. ^ Markhor
  7. ^ Valdez, R. (2008). "Capra falconeri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "Chitral Gol National Park". Wildlife of Pakistan. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Hyder, Donald N. (1978-01-01). Proceedings of the First International Rangeland Congress, Denver, Colorado, USA, August 14-18, 1978. Society for Range Management. 
  10. ^ Green, Michael John Beverley (1990-01-01). IUCN Directory of South Asian Protected Areas. IUCN. ISBN 9782831700304. 
  11. ^ "Chitral Gol National Park". The Express Tribune. 2013-12-24. 
  12. ^ Pakistan Pictorial. Pakistan Publications. 2008-07-01. 
  13. ^ Pakistan Quarterly. 1954-01-01. 

External links[edit]