Big Pamir Wildlife Reserve

The Big Pamir comprises the main block of mountains at the western end of the Pamir Knot between the fork of the Pamir and Wakhan rivers. It comprises a block of high mountains and plateaux of about 4 500 km2, about 100 km from east to west and between 20 and 60 km broad from north to south between the valleys of the Pamir and Wakhan rivers. The highest ranges rise to between 6,700 – 6,900 m and are characterized by perpetual snow and glaciers from which streams drain north into the Pamir and south into the Wakhan River. The northwestern and southern slopes of these valleys provide grazing ground for Wakhi herding families with settled homes in the villages at the eastern end of the main Wakhan strip and in the settlements along the Wakhan Valley between Qala Panja eastwards to Sarhad-e-Broghil.This is home to the Marco Polo sheep as well as ibex, snow leopard, brown bear, lynx, wolf and fox, the long tailed marmot (Marmota caudate), various wildcats, martens, weasels, otters, hares, pikas and small rodents. The area is highly grazed by the livestock of these families and looks one of the most overgrazed ecosystems. There are no signs of large mammals in this region of the Big Pamir except some smaller rodents and abundance of Marmots in pastures.

General Information:

Landscape: Wakhan Protected Area Type: Wildlife Reserve
Established Year: 1978 Area: 700 sq. km.

Geographical Features:

Min: 37.01089 Max: 37.28822
Min: 72.76611 Max: 73.44035
From: meter To: meter
Average rainfall (m): N/A

Biodiversity Features:

Province: Himalayan Highlands

Socioeconomic Features:

Community Structure: The northeastern section of the Big Pamir Mountains is inhabited by yurt-dwelling Turkic Kyrghyz herding families, living all the year in their felt yurts, tending their flocks of sheep and goats as well as cattle, yaks, and Bactrian camels and moving seasonally over the mountain range. Between Qala Panja traveling eastwards up the Wakhan valley as far as Sarhad and between the junction of the Pamir and the Wakhan there are about thirty settlements, most quite small and consisting of only a handful of houses, established along the alluvial river terraces and fans.
Natural Heritage:
Cultural Significance:
Livelihood strategies: Farming is the major livelihood options. Wakhi farmers and herders cultivate wheat, barley, pulses and a little millet and potatoes. Barley is the sole-crop in the middle altitude aylaq (summer camp) between 3,400 – 3,600 m. Wheat is the dominant cereal crop up to 3,400 m.

Conservation Management:

IUCN Category:
Management Authority:
Park Head Quarter:
Conservation History:
Conservation Challenges: Livestock is being overwintered in the area and that trampling had caused considerable degradation of the pastures between 4,000 to 4,300 m. Wild sheep were also hunted opportunistically for meat.
Conservation Efforts:
Transboundary Features:
Base Layers
Other Layers
  • Important Bird Areas
  • Protected Area
  • Corridor
  • Ecology
  • Globe Land Cover
  • Landscape
  • HKH Boundary