Deh Akro-II

Region

Asia

Country

Pakistan

Flyway

Central Asia

Initiative

WLI Asia

About

 

Funding support

Indus for All Program,  WWF, Pakistan

Number of staff

5

Overall aims of the centre

Community based wetland management in Deh Akro-II.

Description of the centre

The total area of Deh Akro-II is 20,500 ha. The wetland supports more than 18 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, 14 species of fish and 101 species of birds and it regularly supports over 20,000 waterbirds. Deh Akro-II Wildlife Sanctuary is considered internationally important, and in 1988, the wetland was declared as Wildlife Sanctuary and Ramsar on 5 November 2002. It is an example of a natural inland wetland eco-system consisting of 32 lakes, and is a unique desert habitat which supports a large variety of fauna and flora species in mainly desert and wetland habitats. Many rare and endangered wildlife species also breed in this area.

The plant species found in the sanctuary include Prosopis cineraria, Prosopis juliflora, Acacia jacquemontii, Acacia nilotica, Aerva javanica, Salvadora oleoides, Capparisdecidua, Cassia sp, Calligonum polygonoides, Euphorbia prostrata, Saccharum spontaneum, Saccharum bengalensis, Tamarix aphylla, Zizyphus maauritiana, Zizyphus nummularia, Alhagi maurorum, Indigofera sp., Phyla nodiflora, Typha domingensis, Tpypa elephantina, Achyranthes aspera, Calotropis procera, and Tamarix indica.

Reed vegetation and Tamarix spp can be observed at the margins of these lakes. The lakes support a good population of waterfowl, marsh crocodiles, otters and fishes. About 1% of the global population of the threatened Marbled teal breeds in these lakes in May to July. The water levels of the lakes increase and decrease due to the fluctuations in the water levels of the Jamrau and Nara canals. Low rainfall has a significant impact on these wetlands. Some of the wetland flora species are Farsetia hamiltonii, Limeton indicum, Tribulus longipetalus, Cynodon dactylon and Stipagrostis plumose.

Desert habitat

Sand dunes are the characteristic feature of this habitat. There are well-developed herbs/shrubs including Calligonum polygonoides, Aerva javanica and trees such as Tamarix aphylla, Prosopis cineraria, Salvadora oleoides and Capparis decidua in the permanent landscape over the dunes and inter-dunal gaps in this area. Farsetia hamiltonii, Limeton indicum, Tribulus longipetalus, Cynodon dactylon and Stipagrostis plumose are common herbs. Due to long dry spells in the area, the herbaceous communities are Amaranthus virdis, Aristida adscensionis, Brachiaria eruciformis, and Celosia argentea.

Marshy habitat

This habitat is concentrated along the length of the Nara and Jamrau canals and is formed as a result of the seepage from these canals. The most common reed vegetation species are Saccharum spp., Pluchea lanceolata, Prosopis cineraria and Limeton indicum. This habitat also supports hog deer, crocodiles, Indian monitor lizard, jungle cats and a large variety of birds. Clearing and burning of vegetation in the marshy area are the main threats to this habitat. Some of the marshy habitat species are: Aehuropus lagopoides, Alhagi maurorum, Bacopa monniera, Boerhavia procumbense, Caparis decidua and Cenchrus ciliaris.

Noteworthy fauna

Important wildlife species in the sanctuary area can be classified as follows:

Rare: Desert cat (Felis lybica), Fishing cat (Felis viverrina), Darter or Snake bird (Anhinga melanogaster pennant), Garganey (Anas querquedula), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Black ibis (Pseudibis papillosa).
Endangered: Marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata), Marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), White-eyed pochard (Anthya nyroca). Abundant: Grey partridge (Francolinus pondicerianus), Black partridge (Francolinus francolinus), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Pintail (Anas acuta), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Common coot (Fulica atra), Indian moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Shoveler (Anas clypeata ), Little egret (Egretta garzetta), Intermediate egret (Egretta intermedia), Indian pond heron (Ardeola grayii), Grey heron (Ardea cinera), Redshank (Tringa totanus), Indian roller (Coracias benghalensis), Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), Common pochard (Aythya ferina), Common teal (Anas crecca). Marsh crocodile Marsh (or Mugger) crocodile has been declared an endangered species.

Previously, Muggers and Gavials inhabited Nara canal (Old Hakra River) and its tributaries, but after the emerging of these wetlands through seepage from Nara canal during the early 1950s, crocodiles have taken refuge in these lakes and are now breeding successfully. Gavial is now extant from Nara canal and from the wild in Pakistan since 1976.

Nara canal has a crocodile population of about 200-250, while the estimated population of crocodiles in the wetland complex of Deh Akro-II Wildlife Sanctuary is believed to be between 550-600 animals. These crocodiles permanently inhabit these lakes year round.

Agriculture habitat

This habitat comprises patches of irrigated agriculture fields lying adjacent (southeast) to the desert habitat. It houses a good population of Black and Grey partridges, reptiles and small mammals. Some of the common birds also perch in these fields.

The use of pesticides and clearing of lands for agriculture practices are threats to the wildlife in this area. Plant species include: Achyranthes aspera, Alhagi maurorum.

Fish

Deh Akro-II also supports many indigenous fish species, such as Dambhro/Rahu (Labeo rohita), Thalia (Catla catla), Morakha (Cirrhinus mrigala), Singhara (Mystus seenghala), Malli/ Jerki (Wallago Attu), Gandan (Notopterus notopterus) and Dimmon (Ompok bimaculatus).

Commercial fishing is banned by law in wildlife sanctuaries, but local communities do catch fish for themselves as a food source.

This Wetland Complex supports many globally threatened species.

Vulnerable species
Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris),
Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palistris).
Threatened species
White-eyed pochard (Anthya nyroca),
Darter (Anhinga melanogaster pennant),
Black Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa),

Activities
• Mobilize and organise the local communities for community based wetland management and biodiversity conservation
• Organise training workshops for local concerned Stakeholders and the local community for community based wetland management
• Organise nature camping involving students and teachers of local schools of the area in the conservation and rehabilitation efforts of the Wetlands site
• To build the skills and capacities of the local communities for implementing Community based Wetland Management
• Plantation of local tree species i.e. Naeem tree, Babul and Kandi on Wetland sites and also distribute plants to the local communities for plantation in Sanctuary area
• Develop small mounds inside and onside the lakes to provide basking places to water fowls and crocodiles

Work Areas

Main CEPA work area

• Mobilization Meetings with villagers and other local stakeholders, Formation of Villages Based Wetlands Protection Committees and District Level Committee,
• Organise training workshops for local concerned Stakeholders and the local community for community based wetland management
• Organise nature camping involving students and teachers of local schools of the area in the conservation and rehabilitation efforts of the Wetlands site
• To build the skills and capacities of the local communities for implementing Community based Wetland Management

Top three successes

  • The local community has owned the project and is actively involving in the project activities
  • Local level government departments and non government stakeholders have a cooperative attitude
  • Political and elected representatives expressed their commitment to support the project activities

Top three challenges

  • Over grazing of the plants on the wetlands
  • Wood for fuel by the local community living on the wetlands
  • Pollution of water of wetlands

Expertise

Interpretation techniques

Creating signage / site information; using audio-visual tools; producing written materials.

Visitor centres

Setting up a new visitor centre; managing / creating habitat; building / maintaining structures.

Participation

Engaging young people; working with volunteers; engaging hard-to-reach groups; engaging the local community.

Education and communication

Working with secondary schools; lobbying / running campaigns; developing resources / materials.

General

Fund-raising.

Contact

Head Office:
SANGAT Development Foundation
Flat# 7, Sharif Building Market Road,
Nawabshah, Sindh, Pakistan.
Email: sangatsindh@gmail.com,
Phone: 92-244-362011
Fax- 92-244-362011
Cell: 92-334-3475360

Field Office:
SANGAT Development Foundation
Wildlife Sanctuary, Information Centre
Deh Akro-II Wetlands
Nawabshah, Sindh, Pakistan.
Email: sangat2006@yahoo.com,
Phone: 92-244-292758
Fax- 92-244-292758
Cell: 92-334-3475360

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