Pajhwok07/18/2012By Abasin Zaheer [Printer Friendly Version]
KABUL - Ninety precious species of animals and plants are on the brink of extinction in Afghanistan, the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA) warned on Wednesday.
NEPA chief Mustafa Zahir told a press conference in Kabul Asiatic Cheetah, Pallas' cat, Paghman salamander, Pamiri butterfly, greater flamingo and snow leopard were threatened with extinction.
Also under threat are 47 wild animals, including Persian leopard, Dalmatio Pelican, large-billed reed warbler, striped hyena, Marco Polo sheep, Markhor, musk deer, wild donkey, red sheep, Blansford's fox, eagle, stone marten and lesser kestrel.
Citing a report compiled by a committee four years ago, he said 40 flying creatures might also disappear in the near future if effective steps were not taken to preserve them. Marbled duck, also known as marbled teal, is one of them.
Another 500 flora and fauna were also considered on the verge of extinction, Zahir said, adding his agency -- in cooperation with people and security forces -- was trying to stop unauthorised hunting.
President Karzai had twice issued decrees forbidding the shooting and capture of threatened animals and birds. An agreement was also signed between NEPA and the Ministry of Agriculture on motivating people to stop hunting such animals.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Abdul Ghani Ghoryani said awareness programmes would be launched to preserve the threatened species. He said the species under threat would be shared with foreigners, whose assistance would be sought in preserving them.