Fauna and Flora of Sindh



The variation in climate between Upper and Lower Sindh is not reflected in any difference in the flora of the two zones. The vegetation is characteristic of edaphic conditions of the region viz. arid climate and sandy and calcareous soil, largely impregnated with salts. A notable feature is the predominance of plants and trees with small leaves, or none at all, and the large proportion of thorny species. The apparent contrast between the verdure of the riverine and irrigated tracts on the one hand, and the hilly and desert tracts on the other; is largely a matter of its intensity and distribution. The dwarf palm, Kher (Acacia ruprstris), and Lohirro (Techoma undulata) are typical of the western hill region as are Khip (Periploca aphylla) and Phog (Calligonum polygonides) of the eastern sandy desert. In the central valley, the Babbur (Acacia nilotica) tree is the most dominant and occurs in thick forests along the Indus banks. The Nim (Azadirachta inidica), Ber (Ziziphus vulagaris) or Jujuba, Lai (Tamarix orientalis), Kirrir (Capparis aphyla) and Kandi (Prosopis cineraria) are the more common trees. Mango, date palms, banana, guava, orange and chiku are the typical fruit bearing trees. The coastal strips and the creeks abound in semiaquatic and aquatic plants, and inshore deltaic islands have mangrove forests of Timmar (Avicennia marina) and Chaunir (Ceriops tagal) trees. Water lilies grow in abundance in the numerous lakes and ponds, particularly in the Lower Sindh region.





Among the wild animals, the Sareh (Sindh ibex), Urial or Gadh (wild sheep), and black bear are found in the western rocky range, where the leopard is now rare. The Pirrang (large tiger cat or fishing cat) of the eastern desert plains is also disappearing. Deer live in the lower rocky plains and in the eastern region, as do the Charakh (striped hyena), jackal, fox, porcupine, common gray mongoose, and hedgehog. The Sindhi phekari (red lynx or caracal cat) is encountered in some areas. Pharrho (hog deer) and wild boar occur particularly in the central inundation belt. There is a variety of bats, lizards, and reptiles, including the cobra, Lundi (viper), and the Peean, the mysterious Sindh krait of the Thar region, which is supposed to suck the victim's breath in his sleep. Crocodiles are rare and inhabit only the backwaters of the Indus and its eastern Nara channel. Besides a large variety of marine fish, the plurnbeous dolphin, the beaked dolphin, rorqual or blue whale, and a variety of skates frequent the seas along the Sindh coast. The Pallo (sable fish), though a marine fish, ascends the Indus annually from February to April to spawn and returns to the sea in September. The Bulhan (Indus dolphin) breeds in the Rohri-Sukkur section of the river.