Exploring the Socio-Ecological Characteristics of Gahkuch Marshland: A Unique Wetlands Ecosystem in Hindukush Mountain Ranges
Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Science
Volume 4, Issue 6, December 2015, Pages: 92-99
Received: Nov. 8, 2015; Accepted: Nov. 17, 2015; Published: Dec. 10, 2015
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Authors
Yawar Abbas, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan; Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bahria University, Islamabad, Pakistan
Babar Khan, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan
Farasat Ali, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan
Garee Khan, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan
Syed Naeem Abbas, Forest, Parks and Wildlife Department, Gilgit, Pakistan
Rizwan Karim, Department of Forestry and Range Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Saeed Abbas, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan
Nawazish Ali, Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Karakoram International University, Gilgit, Pakistan
Ejaz Hussain, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan, NLI Colony Jutiyal, Gilgit, Pakistan
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Abstract
Gahkuch marshland spreading over 133.54 hectare amidst Hindukush mountain ranges in northern Pakistan is characterized by typical wetlands ecosystem, comprising of small lakes, streams, peat lands, bogs, marshy areas and riverain forests. The area abodes largest resident population of waterfowl in Gilgit- Baltistan, in addition to providing wintering and staging ground for a large number of migratory birds and other aquatic life. A detailed socio ecological study conducted during August to September, 2011 revealed that the area is rich in biodiversity, harboring eight large and three small mammal species, 35 species of birds, seven species of fish, eight species of trees and 18 species of medicinal and economic plants and seventeen families of benthic-macro invertebrates. Moreover, six physical, nineteen chemical and three biological parameters of water bodies were also determined. In addition to its ecological significance the area also supports livelihoods of about 10000 people by providing timber, fuel wood, grazing ground and fish resources. Anthropogenic pressures includes solid waste, influent and illegal hunting were key threats to wetlands and its resources. Wetlands management planning in collaboration with key stakeholders would be effective approach to protect important biodiversity and wetlands resources of the area.
Keywords
Gahkuch, Marshland, Wetlands, WWF, Benthic, Hindukush
To cite this article
Yawar Abbas, Babar Khan, Farasat Ali, Garee Khan, Syed Naeem Abbas, Rizwan Karim, Saeed Abbas, Nawazish Ali, Ejaz Hussain, Exploring the Socio-Ecological Characteristics of Gahkuch Marshland: A Unique Wetlands Ecosystem in Hindukush Mountain Ranges, Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Science. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2015, pp. 92-99. doi: 10.11648/j.wros.20150406.13
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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