Taunsa Barrage

Taunsa Barrage

Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary is a notified protected areas declared under the Punjab Wildlife Act by the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department. Like all other protected areas notified by the Department, little and non-sustainable interventions were made towards adopting remedial measures for mitigating the negative impacts on the areas.

Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary is currently confronted with multiple issues. Limited cultivation is practiced inside the sanctuary area by the communities residing in the surrounding areas by clearing off the natural vegetation. This is altering the natural ecosystem, degrading wildlife habitat, leading to the invasion of alien species and causing many more adverse environmental impacts. Fuelwood extraction from the sanctuary by the surrounding communities is also a continuous problem as the area is deficient in alternate sources of fuel and free fuelwood is readily available at Taunsa Barrage. Most of the people living in the neighbouring villages own sheep, goats, cows, and buffaloes. They generally graze their livestock inside the sanctuary and along the banks of River Indus, canals and spurs. Consequently, there is a heavy pressure of grazing and fuelwood cutting in the sanctuary.

Besides timber and fuelwood consumption, the vegetation from Taunsa Barrage is used to make baskets, huts, brooms, house walls, mats, ropes and twines, sticks of hand fans, thatching material, animal fodder and as vegetable. Over fishing is commonly practiced in the area and the fishermen catch fish even during the breeding season. This is due to the inadequate capacity of the respective departments to promote sustainable fisheries management.

WWF-Pakistan has developed a management plan of Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary for sustainable management of the ecologically significant area.