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Kirthar National Park facts for kids

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Kirthar National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Kirthar park.jpg
View of the Kirthar Park
Location Karachi and Jamshoro District
in Sindh, Pakistan
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Area 3,087 km2 (1,192 sq mi)
Established 1974
Governing body Wildlife and Parks Department of Government of Pakistan

The Kirthar National Park (alternatively Khirthar National Park) is situated in the Kirthar Mountains in Karachi and Jamshoro District in Sindh, Pakistan. It was founded in 1974 and stretches over 3,087 square kilometres (1,192 sq mi).

It is a vast rugged park in the south-west of Sindh, is home to historic Ranikot fort. This dry arid land of seemingly endless landscapes of desert with rugged lines of hilly terrain, parallel rock hills, and twisted, stony valleys is ranked among the largest national parks of Pakistan and is home to a wide range of mammals, birds and reptile species.

The fauna comprises Indian leopards, striped hyenas, Indian wolves, ratels, urials, chinkara gazelles and rare Sind wild goats. Blackbuck antelopes are kept in enclosures for a reintroduction project at Kirthar National Park.

Situated in the Kirthar Mountain Range, Kirthar National Park it is home to two wildlife sanctuaries — Hub Dam Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahal Kohistan Wildlife Sanctuary — and to the Surjan, Sumbak, Eri and Hothiano game reserves.

Before the independence of Pakistan in 1947, this part of the Kirthar mountain range was used for hunting, but after research was conducted by the Forest Department in 1965, it was declared a game reserve in 1970. Later in 1972, it was declared a wildlife sanctuary, and in 1974, it finally gained its National Park status, and was also the first Pakistan park to be included in the United Nations' list of national parks around the world, in 1975. It is classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a Category II area.

There are two visitors' centres in Kirthar National Park maintained by Sindh Wildlife Department. The main visitors' centre is in Karchat in the deep heart of the park while the other is in Khar near Hub Dam, just north of Karachi. The area surrounding Karchat centre is most visited, as the area is more mountainous and a better place for wildlife watching, and also where most of the archaeological attractions are located, while the Khar side have captive breeding animals and usually for bird watchers, as the nearby Hub Dam protected wildlife sanctuary is an important habitat of migratory birds as well as reptiles during the winter.

The park is accessible by four wheel drive vehicles while two rest houses belonging to the Sindh Wildlife Department are available for tourist accommodation. Kirthar Park offers a unique and incredible landscape rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage.

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