Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan
Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan, is another scenic park of Pakistan. It spreads over 15,555 hectares at an altitude ranging from 2021 to 3264 meters. The area is mountainous with precipitous slopes divided by ravines. The Chiltan Hills and Hazar Ganji Range lie west and east, respectively, of the north-south Chiltan divide.Hazar Ganji literally means “of a thousand treasures”. In the folds of these mountains, legend has it that, there are over a thousand treasures buried here, as reminders of the passage of great armies down the corridors of history. The Bactrain’s, Scythians, Mongol’s and then the great migrating hordes of Baloch, all passed this way. It can easily be reached from the provincial capital Quetta and attracts many visitors. Facilities include a museum, picnic spots and accommodation in rest houses.
Wildlife: Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan was primarily establised to provide refuge to the endangered Chiltan wild goat or Markhor. In the 1950s it was said to exceed 1,200, but in November 1970 the population was estimated to number about 200, based on a total count of 107 individuals. At present the total population of the Chiltan wild goat is estimated to be about 800. The Suleiman markhor is also present in the northern part of the Chiltan Range and a few urial still survive on the western slopes between 1,500m and 2,100m. Carnivores include Stripped hyaena and Red fox.
Flora: Amongst the flora of Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan are some 225 species of plants. Prominent are the pistachio’s, Juniper, wild olives, wild ash and wild almonds. Many shrub’s like wild fig, barberry, wild cherry, makhi etc; provide food and shelter to the foraging animals, birds and other life form. Many medicinal herbs are also found there. There is a splash of color during the spring season when most of the plants are in full bloom.
Mammals: Mammals in Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan include–Chiltan wildgoat or Markhor , Suleiman Markhor , Urial sheep (Gad) , Indian wolf , Stripped hyena , Leopard , Caracal , Jackal , Red fox , Porcupine and Desert hare .
Birds: Birds in Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistank are–Houbara bustard, Griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Honey buzzard, Laggar falcon, Peregrine falcon, Kestrel, Indian sparrow hawk, Scops owl, Common cuckoo, European bee-eater, Rock partridge, European nightjar, Long-billed pipit, Orphean warbler, Variable wheatear, Blue rock thrush, Stonechat, and Lichtenstein’s desert finch.
Reptiles: Reptiles in Hazar Ganj Chiltan National Park Balochistan are– Monitor lizard, Russell’s viper, Saw scaled viper and Spiny tailed lizard.