Pakistan is home to many national parks that are under the protection of the government to preserve them from modern developments and save wildlife from being endangered by any kind of threat. These parks serve as a home and shelter to not only birds and wild animals but also to different species of trees and plants. Any kind of human activity in these preserved places may disturb the ecosystems in these natural settings and this is the reason why Sheikh Badin National Park has been kept away from human intervention by the state.
Sheikh Badin National Park is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. This blog is an ‘all you need to know’ guide about Sheikh Badin National Park.
About Sheikh Badin National Park
Sheikh Badin Hills have been named after a Sufi, Sheikh Bahaudin who first inhabited the place in the 17th century. Later in 1860 when the English government had their stronghold over the subcontinent, Sheikh Badin Hills (also spelt as Sheikh Buddin Hills) was their summer headquarters and this was also the second major settlement in the area.
Before we go into further details of the Badin National Park and its current status, let us first understand the role and purpose of a national park.
What Is A National Park?
Unlike a city park that is fenced, gated and has gardens, it is a piece of land usually declared and owned by the state to preserve and protect the natural beauty, flora, fauna and wildlife from the abundance of human presence. These pieces of land in a country are home to free wildlife and people may use it as a hunting ground. Often there are growths of vegetation and species of plants and trees which are not in such abundance in any other place and used for study and scientific purposes.
Role And Purpose Of A National Park
The basic purpose of a national park is to protect and preserve biodiversity but it also serves to collect data for research studies. The outstanding views and existence of different species of flora and fauna, national parks all around the world attract eco-tourists, bird watchers and nature photographers.
Requirements For A National Park
For any land that is to be given the status of a national park has to meet a certain criterion that has been set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). According to these guidelines, the land should at least have a size of 1,000 hectares and should not be under private ownership. It should be a state-owned land and any activity that may pose a threat to the protection of the present species or exploitation of natural resources should completely be banned here.
Area Of Sheikh Badin National Park
Sheikh Badin National Park is spread over an area of 15,540 hectares. Located in Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan, it is one of the most important national parks present in Pakistan. The national park is situated among the Sheikh Badin Hills which form the eastern extension of the Sulaiman Mountains.
Weather And Temperature Of Sheikh Badin National Park
The national park gets to see all four seasons of the year i.e. winter, autumn, summer and spring. The winters can get as cold as 4.2 degrees Celsius and the temperature in summers can rise upto 30 degree Celsius. The coldest month in the winter season is January and the hottest month during summers is July.
Flora And Fauna in Sheikh Badin National Park
There are about 41 species of birds that live and seek shelter in Sheikh Badin National Park. Some of these are migrating birds while others are permanent residents here. The commonly found bird species at the national park are house sparrow, blue cheeked bee-eater, baya weaver, alpine swift, house crow, common myna, black-breasted weaver, Indian robin, Spanish sparrow and purple sunbird.
Similarly, Sheikh Badin National Park also has more than a hundred species of plant and the most common type of plant found here is Nanophyll which forms 36% of the total plant population. Some of the plant species were uprooted by the locals for construction and burning purposes. Species like Monothica, Pinnus and Tamarixaphyllaetc need protection and special care for their survival in the national park otherwise these will be extinct from here.
Timing Of Sheikh Badin National Park
The national park opens for the public at 09:00 AM and closes at 05:00 PM.
Sheikh Badin National Park, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Pakistan is home to more than 20 national parks out of which the smallest one is in Toli Pir in Poonch District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir spreading over 1,000 hectares. The largest national park in Pakistan is Central Karakoram National Park in Gilgit Baltistan which covers a total land of 9,73,845 hectares.