Please wait a minute...
Journal of Arid Land  2012, Vol. 4 Issue (1): 77-84    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00077
Research Articles     
Range extension of four highland agamid lizards in Shimshal Pamir, Pakistan
Babar KHAN1,2, Waseem AHMED3, Abdukadir Ablimit2 , Shamim FAKHRI4, Hassan ALI1
1 World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan, Gilgit 15100, Pakistan;
2 Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China;
3 Pakistan Wildlife Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan;
4 Zoological Survey Department, Karachi, Pakistan
Download:   PDF(5825KB)
Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)       Supporting Info

Abstract  As part of the Sino-Pak trans-boundary cooperation for conservation and sustainable development in Pamir border region, World Wild Fund (WWF)-Pakistan conducted a preliminary social, economic and ecological survey in the Shimshal-Pamir Lakes area in July 2009. The purpose of the study was to explore potentials and opportunities for future collaborative conservation of some species, habitats and high altitude ecosystems in the border region between China and Pakistan. The two-week herpetological study in the Shimshal Pamir area of Khunjerab National Park (KNP) along Pakistan-China border was an integral part of the survey, conducted exclusively to document reptilian fauna with a special emphasis on investigating their occurrence, distribution and status in the study area. Field investigations were performed during daytime when it was hot enough and reptiles were active, basking or feeding. A total of 15 specimens belonging to four species of the Agamidae family were captured by striking stones and beating bushes with sticks. Collected specimens were preserved using 10% formalin solution, tagged with field information and stored in Zoological Survey Department, Karachi for future reference. Laboratory investigations were carried out for pholidosic counts and morphometric measurements. A detailed review of relevant literature, habitat characteristics and laboratory investigations revealed the occurrence of Laudakia himalayana, L. pakistanica, L. tuberculata and L. badakhshana at 4,082 m, 4,172 m, 4,005 m and 4,240 m asl, respectively, which are much higher altitudes as compared to the previously reported heights of 3,353 m, 3,200 m, 2,500 m and 2,400 m asl. The terrain offers a variety of ecological barriers, in the form of fast and freezing running waters and massive glaciers with peculiar harsh climatic conditions prevailing for nine months of the year, which restricts species migration and thus increases endemism. Although one of the four species recorded from the study area, i.e. L. pakistanica is endemic to Pakistan, L. tuberculata and L. badakhshana are new records from Shimshal, Pakistan, so a detailed investigation is suggested for further herpetological records from the study area.

Key wordsChenopodiaceae      classification      Corispermum      molecular phylogeny      infrageneric variation     
Received: 20 July 2011      Published: 05 March 2012


Corresponding Authors:
Cite this article:

Babar KHAN, Waseem AHMED, Abdukadir Ablimit, Shamim FAKHRI, Hassan ALI. Range extension of four highland agamid lizards in Shimshal Pamir, Pakistan. Journal of Arid Land, 2012, 4(1): 77-84.

URL:     OR

Ananjeva N B, Tuniev. 1994. Some aspects of historical biogeography of Asian rock agamids. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 1(1): 43–49.

Baig K J. 1989. A new species of Agama (Sauria, Agamidae) from northern Pakistan. Bulletin of the Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History & Human, 9: 117–122.

Baig K J. 1992. Systematic studies of the Stellio group of Agama (Sauria: Agamidae). Ph.D Thesis. Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.

Baig K J. 2001. Annotated checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the northern mountain region and Potwar plateau of Pakistan. Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, 38(2): 121–130.

Baig K J. 2008. Detailed Ecological Assessment of Kheenjar Lake, Sindh. Lahore: WWF-Pakistan, 27–29.

Borkin L J. 1999. Distribution of amphibians in North Africa, Europe, Western Asia, and the Former Soviet Union. In: Duellman W E. Patterns of Distribution of Amphibians. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 329–420.

Ficetola G F, Crottini A, Casiraghi M, et al. 2010. New data on amphibians and reptiles of the Northern Areas of Pakistan: distribution, genetic variability and conservation issues. North-Western Journal of Zoology, 6 (1): 1–12.

PGoGB. 2010. Re-notification of the boundaries of Khunjerab National Park, Hunza-Nagar. F&A-8 (4)/F/2001. Forest, Wildlife & Environment, Provincial Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Gilgit, 1–12.

Göcmen B, Tosunoglu M, Tskavak E. 2003. A taxanomic comparision of the Hardan, Laudakia stellio (Reptilia, Agamidae), populations of southern Turkey (Hatay) and Cyprus. Zoology in the Middle East, 28: 25–32.

Heyer W R, Donnelly M A, Mcdiarmid R W, et al. 1994. Measuring and monitoring biological diversity: standard methods for amphibians. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

IUCN Pakistan. 2003. State of the Environment and Development in Northern Areas. Karachi: IUCN Pakistan, 38–50.

Jane M, Hale J, Mantziou G, et al. 2009. Historical biogeography, phylogenetic relationships and intraspecific diversity of agamid lizards in the Central Asian deserts of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 53: 99–112.

Khan A A. 1996. Management Plan of Khunjerab National Park. Lahore: WWF-Pakistan.

Khan B, Khattak R A, Khattak R A. 2004. Physico-chemical characterizations and fertility evaluation of Gilgit soils. Journal of Agricultural Research, 42(3–4): 305–312.

Khan M S. 1994. Key for identification of amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Zoology, 26(3): 225–249.

Khan M S. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Pakistan (in Urdu). Lahore: Urdu Science Board, 138.

Khan M S. 2000. Key and checklist to the Lizards of Pakistan. Herpetozoa, 15: 179–199.

Khan M S. 2004. Checklist and key to the Lizards of Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Zoology, 5(Suppl.): 1–25.

Khan M S. 2006. Amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan. Florida: Krieger Publishing Company, 32950: 311–318.

Khan, M S. 2008. Amphibians of Pakistan. Reptilia, 60: 61–66.

Khan M Z, Mahmood N. 2004. Study of population status and natural history of Agamid lizards of Karachi. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 7(11): 1942–1945.

Khan W A. 2006. Wildlife Survey of Khunjerab National Park, Northern Areas, Pakistan. Lahore: WWF-Pakistan, 39– 40. 

Martens R. 1969. Die Amphibian and Reptilian West Pakistan. Stuttgarter Beiter Z. Naturkunde, No. 197.

Minton S A. 1966. A contribution to the Herpetology of West Pakistan. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 134: 27–184.

Rahman H, Ifat F. 1997. A revised checklist of Reptiles of Pakistan. Records Zoological Survey of Pakistan, 8: 1–17. 

Sindaco R, Jerem-enko V K. 2008. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic. 1, Belvedere, Latina.

Xu J, Grumbine R E, Shrestha A, et al. 2009. The melting Himalayas: cascading effects of climate change on water, biodiversity, and livelihoods. Conservation Biology, 23: 520–530.
[1] Peng ZHAO, Jianjun QU, Xianying XU, Qiushi YU, Shengxiu JIANG, Heran ZHAO. Desert vegetationdistribution and species-environment relationshipsinan oasis-desert ecotone ofnorthwestern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2019, 11(3): 461-476.
[2] JAVAD Mirzaei, MEHDI Heydari, PREVOSTO Bernard. Effects of vegetation patterns and environmental factors on woody regeneration in semi-arid oak-dominated forests of western Iran[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(3): 368-378.
[3] KARGAR-CHIGANI Hadi, Akbar JAVADI Seyed, ZAHEDI-AMIRI Ghavamodin, Jamaleddin KHAJEDDIN Seyed, JAFARI Mohamad. Vegetation composition differentiation and species-environment relationships in the northern part of Isfahan Province, Iran[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(2): 161-175.
[4] Yinan ZHAO, Hongqing YU, Tao ZHANG, Jixun GUO. Mycorrhizal colonization of chenopods and its influencing factors in different saline habitats, China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2017, 9(1): 143-152.
[5] QingLing GENG, PuTe WU, QingFeng ZHANG, XiNing ZHAO, YuBao WANG. Dry/wet climate zoning and delimitation of arid areas of Northwest China based on a data-driven fashion[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2014, 6(3): 287-299.
[6] JuanJuan XUE, MingLi ZHANG. Monophyly and infrageneric variation of Corispermum L. (Chenopodiaceae), evidence from sequence data psbB-psbH, rbcL and ITS[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2011, 3(4): 240-253.
[7] Ying FENG, BoRong PAN, GuanMian SHEN. Revision of two species of Calligonum from the desert of Xinjiang, Northwestern China[J]. Journal of Arid Land, 2010, 2(3): 231-234.