Endangered Species of Afghanistan

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There are thousands of endangered species all over the world. An endangered species is a group of animals that have a low enough population that there is the threat of extinction. Extinction is when not a single one of that species is left in the wild. Many organizations are fighting to protect our wildlife, but there is always something new that hurts another species.

In war torn Afghanistan, there are bunch of endangered species. Here are a few:

The Argali

Weighing up to 350lbs, the argali are considered the largest wild sheep in existence. Their large horns can get up to 6 feet long. They live in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and other parts of Asia. They prefer areas above 1000 meters, and usually stay in one area their entire life.

The argali are endangered for a few reasons. Domesticated sheep are left to roam, and they end up taking over the argali’s area. On top of that, their horns are prized by hunters, and are worth a lot of money. While most endangered species have some group or organization helping to protect them, the argali have little aid from humans, and that is making things worse for them.

The Markhor

The markhor is a mountain goat that lives in some of the same areas as the argali. They like wooded areas and mountainous regions above 3600 meters. The markhor are distinct because of their long wooly coats, and their corkscrew horns. There are a few subspecies of the markhor, and three of them are endangered.

Just like the argali, the markhor is endangered because of loss of habitat because of domesticated sheep and goats. They are hunted for their horns that are sold for medicinal purposes. Since they were named endangered in 1976, little has been done to help protect them from extinction.

Pallas Cat

This wildcat, named for scientist Peter Simon Pallas, is about the size of a large house cat, and look just like your pet. They have long fur that dangles down to the ground. It is believed the longer fur is used for warmth when the cat rests on the cold ground. They eat small prey, like rodents, and are usually only out at night.

The Pallas Cat is endangered because of hunters. It’s beautiful fur is prized and worth a lot of money. It is now illegal to hunt the Pallas cat but that does not stop poachers. Unlike the last two animals mentioned, the Pallas cat does have many organizations trying to help protect them. However, kittens born in captivity tend to die from taxoplasmosis. In the wild, the cat is protected from disease, and because of that they have low immune systems.

A few others

-Cyprian Wild Sheep

-Kashmir Musk Deer

-Red Deer

Sources:

Glenn, C. R. 2006. “Earth’s Endangered Creatures” (Online). Accessed 1/4/2010 at http://earthsendangered.com.

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