Established on the hilltops and plains of Khwarra Range near the Indus River in the Nizampur area of the Nowshera district, the Manglot Wildlife Park is providing a sanctuary for endangered wildlife species and serves as a scenic recreational resort for tourists.
The park was set up in the 1990s to serve as a sanctuary for the wild species besides creating awareness among people about the importance of biodiversity and providing recreational facilities to the visitors. After the passage of almost 20 years, the park is presenting a success story of the efforts being made for the preservation of the natural environment for the protection of endangered wild species.
A visit to the Manglot Wildlife Park disclosed that the sanctuary, spread over an area of 1,756 acres, is covered with thick forest green and dry land can also be felt by taking a satellite view of the park through Google maps. The aerial view clearly differentiates the fenced area of the Manglot Wildlife Park, showing it as dark green while the nearby area is of soil color.
The park was established with an aim of making a sanctuary for the conservation of wildlife through the protection of its habitat, said District Forest Officer NWFP Wildlife Department Asad Lodhi while talking to a group of journalists who visited the recreational area. Now, he added, it was not only conserving the wildlife in the province but was also instrumental in the re-introduction of endangered species in other areas by shifting the additional animals to parks and sanctuaries of the NWFP.
The flora and fauna in the park include scrub forests mainly consisting of olive trees. Vegetation of the forest predominantly is acacia Modesta, zizyphus nummular, Olea cuspidate, deodonia viscose, and monolithic boxifolia. While animals include Chinkara, hog deer, common leopard, wolf, wild boar, jackal, porcupine, and hare. Reptiles including different kinds of snakes and wild lizards are also found in the park. The birds in the park included Chukar, three varieties of partridges, rock pigeons, doves and several sparrows from different species.
Lodhi said that in some cases common leopard was also spotted in the park, which reflects its ecological health. He said the animal visited the areas where it found food and protection. The Wildlife Department, he said, captured two leopards in the park through special traps and shifted them to Kund Park for visitors. Top predators are not allowed in the park because it is fenced and thus provides a limited area for animals to escape for safety.
Within the park, the Wildlife Department has also constructed a mud track of 15 kilometers for providing an opportunity for visitors to look at different scenic views of the park besides viewing in some places clusters of different animals while drinking water from pots. Elevation of the track ranges from 700 feet to 3,000 feet.
The park is also playing the role in the economic lifeline and health of the population of the region by providing job opportunities to the local people besides providing them a clean environment. The officer said the locals benefited from limited vegetation for their livestock, in prevailing circumstances when a country is facing rain shortages besides obtaining fuel wood.
A number of bee honey traders also benefit from the greenery and flowers of the park. The forest in the park is also maintaining water levels high in the region benefiting the dwellers in obtaining water through wells beside the cultivation of different crops.