Pakistan is abundant with wildlife and is also home to diverse natural habitats that facilitate the breeding of rare species. This is why there are numerous nature reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in the country, where the species native to each area is allowed to flourish without the fear of being hunted or killed. Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary is one such region in Sindh. Let’s learn more about it and how you can visit the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary to witness its diverse flora and fauna for yourself.
About the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary
The Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary is known by many names. Deh Akro-II Desert Wetlands Complex, Deh Akro Wetlands Complex, and Deh Akro-II are some of the many names of the region. The reason for the variation in names springs from the fact that the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary is actually home to not one or two but four different habitats in a single region, making it part wetland, part desert, part marsh, and part agricultural land. The complex was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1988 and as a Ramsar site in 2002.
The desert in the Deh Akro complex is home to up to 10-metre high sand dunes and herbs, shrubs, and trees that are perfectly at home in a desert climate. The valleys between the dunes are marshes and wetlands with numerous small lakes. Moving towards the southeast where civilisation awaits, the sanctuary borders agricultural land, with irrigated fields.
There are 36 lakes in the area, covering almost 50 square kilometres of space. The largest lake has a surface area of 7.5 square kilometres and the smallest one has a surface area of 0.4 square kilometres. Out of all of these lakes, five have a water quality that is drinkable while the rest have brackish water. The depths of these lakes varies from 2 metres to 15 metres.
How to Reach the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary?
The Deh Akro Wetlands Complex is located in District Nawabshah (now Shaheed Benazirabad) in Sindh. It is situated about 46 kilometres northeast of Nawabshah City over nearly 200 square kilometres. It is a unique ecosystem, having a desert and a wetland in one region, making it hospitable for a range of endangered and rare species.
The complex is at a distance of 330 kilometres from Karachi. It can be easily reached via Jamrao Road/Sanghar Road once you reach Sanghar after a 4-hour road trip. The route will take you past Hyderabad and Tando Adam to Sanghar.
Flora and Fauna at the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary
Each of the habitats at Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary attracts its own collection of both plants and animals to this region, making it abundant in wildlife and foliage. Some species are, however, more common than others, while a few are so rare that they have only been witnessed a couple of times as per historical records.
The entire ecosystem with its various habitats is home to approximately 18 types of mammals, 14 types of fish, 16 types of reptiles, and more than 100 types of birds. The complex in its entirety is home to nearly 20,000 aquatic animals, which include marsh crocodiles, otters, waterfowls, and fish. The native fish species include Rahu, Thalia, Singhara, Malli, Gandan, and Morakha. While commercial fishing is banned, the locals are allowed to fish for recreation or food.
Some of the rare animal species at the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary include the African Wildcat, Oriental Darter, Garganey, and the Black Ibis, while the endangered species include the Marsh Crocodiles, Hog Deer, Indian Monitor Lizard, Marbled Teal, and the White-Eyed Pochard. Sadly, these species are at a constant threat of extinction due to the destruction of wetlands, the scarcity of water, illegal hunting, etc. Several agencies and organisations are working to safeguard these animals in their natural habitats at Deh Akro.
Meanwhile, Grey Partridges, Black Partridges, Mallard, Indian Moorhen, Black-Winged Stilt, Little Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Redshank, Glossy Ibis, Common Pochard, and Common Teal are some of the birds that will delight birdwatchers with their abundant population at the sanctuary.
With four diverse habitats, it’s no surprise that there are several different species of plants that are thriving in this complex. Reeds and grass grow along the edges of the lake and in the marsh, while the wetlands are home to wildflowers, Bermuda Grass, and Desert Grass. Other plants at Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary include Ghaf, Mesquite, Kikar, Kapok Bush, Cassia, Prostrate Sandmat, Phog, Wild Sugarcane, Athel Tamarisk, Jujube, Camelthorn, Indigofera, Rasana, Frogfruit, Southern Cattail, Elephant Grass, Prickly Chaff Flower, Rubber Tree, and Indian Tamarisk.
Thorny bushes and small shrubs favour the desert landscape, with Slender Amaranth, Needle Grass, Sweet Signalgrass, and Silver Cock’s Comb being some of the plants that thrive in the dry weather. The marsh is also home to Mangrove Grass, Brahmi, and Buffel Grass.
Now you know all about planning a trip to the Deh Akro Wildlife Sanctuary to see its diverse ecosystem for yourself. If you love visiting places that are abundant with wildlife and natural beauty, consider taking a trip to one of these amazing national parks in Pakistan, where both the flora and fauna are protected and allowed to thrive with minimal human disturbances. You can also consider visiting these lesser-known wildlife sanctuaries in Pakistan for a fun-filled adventure where you get to witness the best that nature has to offer.