Priority Species of WWF – Pakistan

WWF – Pakistan has prioritized species that are found in Pakistan for conservation. A species is selected for the conservation work it fulfills at least three of following criteria. All of the species of special concern of WWF – Pakistan are part of organization’s Species Programme and have conservation projects.
WWF – Pakistan recognizes many other species as candidates of ‘species of special concern’, however, this is only an organizational list and includes species with active conservation projects of the organization itself that are part of WWF – Pakistan’s five year strategy plan (2006 – 2010).



Scientific name

1 Indus River Dolphin Platanista gangetica minor
2 White-backed Vulture

Gyps bengalensis

3 Snow Leopard

Uncia uncia

4 Common Leopard

Panthera pardus

5 Gavial

Gavialis gangetica

6 Green Turtle

Chlonia mydas

7 Olive Ridley Turtle

Lepidochelys olivacea

8 Rough tooth Dolphin

Steno bredanensis

9 Eastern Bottle-nosed Dolphin

Tursiops truncatus

Species Selection Criteria

  • Endemic (only found in Pakistan)
  • Level of rarity, it is threatened or endangered globally or in Pakistan and its long term survival depends on conservation efforts.
  • Flagship, species is easily recognized by people and popular. It is important in highlighting the conservation work globally because it is charismatic and attractive.
  • Became extinct (cease to survive) in Pakistan recently and the population can be recovered through reintroduction of species, habitat is available and original threats that lead to extinction are mitigated.
  • Ecologically important and is either keystone or indicator species.
  • Pakistan has a population of a globally important species as resident or at certain times of the year.
  • Species in conflict with local communities and management required to safeguard it survival.
  • Local communities are dependent on the species for subsistence and utilization is unsustainable.
  • Very little information available on the species; population number and trend, preferred habitat.

Selection of priority issues

WWF – Pakistan species thematic pillar has cautiously selected eight priority issues to focus in the next five year strategic plan. These issues have specific indicators that focus on particular set of species, however, the impact of interventions are not limited to only those selected species and have capacity to have position impact on the survival of other species and well being of indigenous community.
Most of the selected species in the Species Thematic Pillar (STP) are also of a global concern and also part of the WWF International priority species. Species thematic pillar is scientific and holistic and balances conservation with sustainable livelihoods, awareness and capacity building. Involvement of partners and local communities as key stakeholders in the pillar increases the ownership of other partner institutions and adds the element of sustainability to activities through capacity building. STP complements other thematic pillars and integrates both fauna and flora species. WWF – Pakistan incorporates sustainable utilization of plant resources in this pillar with a special emphasis on medicinal plants, moreover, aims to control invasive biota in its target areas, such as the Chitral Gol National Park, that have adverse impacts of the indigenous species.
A key component of this thematic pillar is strengthening of existing legislations to counter illegal hunting, trapping and trade of species. Additionally conservation status many species needs to be evaluated on the basis of scientific data to give necessary protection. Insufficient data on species and absence of baseline information impedes effective conservation efforts. This pillar recognizes this is an important issue and has incorporated plan to enhance information database. The species thematic pillar is a blend of various levels of interventions beginning from community work at the grassroot level to influencing policies and legislations.