FIRST MARINE PROTECTED AREA OF PAKISTAN: ASTOLA ISLAND Page No: 4423-4432

By: Roohi Kanwal , Ubaid Ullah , Babar Hussain , Ghazala Yasmeen , Afsheen Zehra , Saima Siddqui , Uzma Manzoor , Noreen Raza , Uzma Imdad , Saquib Ejaz Hussain , Abdur Razzaq Khan and Syed Ali Ghalib

Keywords: Astola island, protected area, corals, green turtle.

Abstract: The island supports large numbers of wintering birds, including Larus hemprichi and several species of terns. The island is an important site for Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata and for an Endemic Viper (Echis carinatus astoli). This paper deals with the data collected during a general survey regarding the fauna and flora of the first ever declared Marine Protected Area of Pakistan. During the present study, as many as 41 species of birds, eight species of reptiles and six dominant and widespread species of plants have been recorded from the site. 29 species of corals and 75 fin fish species have previously been reported from the area. The need to develop and revive the area as a Ramsar Site has been emphasized. In view of the fact that the island has been left over as a neglected site by the concerned Wildlife Department, the need for future monitoring and management is suggested, particularly for gulls, terns, cetaceans, corals, Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and marine snakes and as an ecotourism hotspot.



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