Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan
Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan the gateway to China via the Karakoram Highway, is Pakistan’s third largest National Park. Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan begins 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Sost. As the hills move back from the road, the valley opens out and the Khunjerab River dwindles to a tiny mountain stream with the odd tuft of grass, willow or birch alongside its banks. Khunjerab pass is at 4,934m. Over half of Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan is above 4,000m. The park is adjacent to Tashgukan Natural Reserve (1,400,000ha) in China. The primary purpose of setting up of this park was to provide protection to the endangered Marco polo sheep, which is only found in this area in Pakistan.
Wildlife: A herd of almost 75 Marco Polo sheep was recorded in the spring of 1984 and park staff saw at least 50 crossing the Pass in May 1989. The park is also famous for its Snow Leopards. Some reports say that it might contain the highest density of these beautiful cats in the total Himalayan ecosystem which is the natural habitat of these cats. Over 2,000 Siberian ibex, widely distributed and abundant in the park but absent from neighboring China are also present here.
Mammals: Mammals in Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan include——- Snow leopard , Himalayan Ibex , Brown bear , Tibetan red fox , Tibetan wolf , Blue Sheep (in Shimshal area only) , Marcopolo Sheep , Tibetan wild ass or Kiang (Unconfirmed reports) , Ermine , Alpine weasle , Stone Martin , Golden Marmot , Lynx (Unconfirmed reports, Large-eared Pika , Dhole (Unconfirmed reports) , Cape hare , Common field mouse , Royle’s mountain vole , Lesser shrew and Migratory hamster .
Birds: Common birds in Khunjerab National Park Gilgit Baltistan are—- Lammegier vulture, Golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, Eurasian black vulture, Marsh harrier, Eurasian sparrow hawk, Eurasian kestrel, Lesser kestrel, Saker falcon, Peregrine falcon, Himalayan Snow cock, Snow partridge, Chukar, Grey heron, Common sandpiper, Hill pigeon, Snow pigeon, Northern eagle owl, Eurasian cuckoo, Common swallow, Magpie, Alpine cough and Raven.