Biodiversity of Pakistan’s highlands
The highlands of Pakistan are quite rich in biodiversity of global importance due to diverse ecosystems and climatic conditions. The diversity of country’s wildlife is associated because of its zoogeographical location between Oriental and Palearctic regions. The Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush and Western ranges of mountain in Pakistan create a unique geographical feature host alpine, subalpine, temperate forests which provide exceptional blend of habitats for wildlife.
Collectively Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindu Kush in Pakistan harbor 10% of world plant species (about 25,000 species), out of which 10000 have medicinal and economic importance and a significant chunk of human population is dependent on traditional medicines. About 80% of endemic flowering plants are confined to the Northern and Western mountain terrains.
The valleys of northern and western mountains host variety of wildlife species including Markhor, Snow leopard, Common Leopard, Himalayan Ibex, Brown and Black Bear, Blue Sheep, Grey Goral , Langure, Monal Pheasant, Chokor, Stone Martin and Flying Squirrel and many more. In northern mountainous region of Pakistan 60% of natural forest resources of the country are found.
The Central Karakorum National Park (CKNP) is the largest mountain park of Pakistan and hosts one of the largest mountain glacial systems in the world with Siachen (75 km), Baltoro