Canadian Helps Afghanistan Open First Preserve

20090423_afghanlakeThe perennial fighting in Afghanistan has led to the decline of many animals and fish native to the country. In the midst of the war torn country lies something new, a wildlife preserve.

The preserve, called Band-e-Amir, was established in April of last year with the help of Canadian wildlife biologist Chris Shank. The preserve is the home to nearly 5,000 people who graze animals, farm, and fish on the land.

It is hoped that the preserve will help protect against habitat destruction for wild goats, sheep, wolves, foxes, birds, and fish, all of which have been depleted though illegal hunting, trade, and poaching. In some instances, fisherman use explosives which kill all aquatic creatures in the vicinity.  Other animals, like the snow leopard, have been completely wiped from the area.

Plant life has not fared much better than animal life.  Overgrazing and overfarming have ruined some tracts of land, as has deforestation and illegal harvests.

The overall goal is to conserve the land and animals for the betterment of the people who live there.

For more visit The Canadian Press or USAID/Afghanistan.