Balochistan-Barkhan

Introduction

District Barkhan is located between 29° 37Ꞌ and 30° 21Ꞌ north latitudes and 69° 3Ꞌ and 70° 4Ꞌ east longitudes. It is bounded in the north by Musakhel district, in the east by Dera Ghazi Khan district (Punjab), in the south by Dera Bugti and in the west by Kohlu and Loralai districts. Barkhan town is the headquarters of this district, which is located about 1,215 m above sea level.

District at a Glance

Name of District Barkhan District
District Headquarters Barkhan Town
Population[1] 171,556 persons
Area[2] 3,514 km2
Population Density[3] 48.8 persons/ km2
Population Growth Rate[4] 2.7%
Male Population[5] 52.6%
Female Population[6] 47.4%
Urban Population[7] 7.1%
Tehsils 01 Tehsil:

·         Barkhan Tehsil

Main Towns Barkhan town, Bala Dhaka, Rakhni, Kharat, Nahar Kot, Rarkan, Chohar Kot, and Chapper
Literacy Rate[8] 29%
Male Literacy Rate[9] 47%
Female Literacy Rate[10] 8%
Major Economic Activity[11] Agriculture with its allied livestock breeding 70.3%
Elementary occupations 20%
Service workers and shop/market sale workers 4.4%
Clerks 1.7%
Others 3.6%
Main Crops Wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, moong, maash, cotton, maize, and fodder
Major Fruits Almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peach, pomegranate, plums, watermelon, musk melon, pistachios, and cherry
Major Vegetables Chilies, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, turnip, pumpkin, and brinjal
Forest Area[12] – HA[13]
Black Topped Roads[14] 464 km
Shingle Roads[15] 343 km
Electricity[16] Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) looks after the supply and transmission of electricity to the district.
Telephone Exchanges[17] 03 telephone exchanges with 516 landline connections, 1,010 wireless phone connections and 429 broadband connections
Industrial Zones[18] There are no industrial zones or units in the district, and the main economic resource is the Cottage Industry
Major Industry[19] The Cottage Industry produces household items made of mazri palm, as well as carpets and shoes. There is 1 flour mill
Household Size[20] 7.1 persons per house
Houses with Piped Water[21] 9.7%
Houses with Electricity[22] 36.9%

Table 1.1 Barkhan District at a Glance

[1] 2017 Census

[2] 1998 Census

[3] 2017 Census

[4] 2017 Census

[5] 2017 Census

[6] 2017 Census

[7] 2017 Census

[8] Pakistan Social & living Measurement Survey 2014-15 (PSLM); Latest available

[9] PSLM

[10] PSLM

[11] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[12] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[13] Land Utilization Statistics 0.8 HA area under forests.

[14] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[15] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[16] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[17] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[18] Barkhan District Development Profile 2011 by P&D Department, Balochistan

[19] Barkhan District Development Profile 2011 by P&D Department, Balochistan

[20] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[21] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[22] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

Brief HistoryGovernmental StructureAdministrative DivisionsHistorical/ Heritage Sites and Tourism/ Picnic Spots

Brief History of the District

Barkhan district was a tehsil of Loralai district until 1991, when, due to administrative reasons, the tehsil was upgraded to a district level with Barkhan town as its headquarters. The early history of the district is, thus, the same as that of Loralai district and has been recounted in the chapter on Loralai.

Relatively little is known of the early history of Loralai; according to District Profile Barkhan 2011 by GoB, “It is…said that this area more or less remained under the political control of the Muslim Rulers and conquerors of Kandahar and India.” The area was one of the sub-districts of Sewistan (now Sehwan), and of the Hind Province of Tatta (now spelled Thatta), and was inhabited by a Jat community of Hindus. The Jats mixed with a small Pathan tribe who had migrated from Vehova (Dera Ghazi Khan district) under the leadership of Baro Muhammad Khan, who assumed the title of the Khetrans (cultivators). The areas that they occupied were, thus, named after him; originally, the region was named Bar Khan which then changed to Barkhan. The Khetrans continue to live in the Barkhan district and parts of Vehova city. The district is also known as Khetran Country.

Oral history of the local area, while recounting the story of how the Khetrans occupied the Barkhan areas, asserts that while the Khetrans were still living at Vehova, they took in a guest called Ram Sunara (which means “goldsmith”) from the east and promised him protection. When they found that their guest was a convicted man in the Mughal Court (during Emperor Akbar’s rule, 1542-1605) and that the Mughals wanted the man to be returned for punishment, the Khetrans refused, prompting the Emperor to send an army to get Sunara. A battle ensued, which the Khetrans lost, along with thousands of lives. After this defeat, some of the Khetrans, under their leader Baro Khan, fled to the area which is present day Barkhan district, where they still live. At the time the retreat occurred, the area now called Barkhan was called Janjah.

Baro Khan is also credited with being the founder of the Barozai family of Pannis who ruled this area on behalf of the Governor of Sibi (Balochistan). According to the Loralai District Gazetteer 1908, in the early days of occupation of the valley by the Khetrans, the Lath Afghans[1] tyrannized them but were ousted by the Mazarani clan of the Khetrans, after which the Lath left for Luni Country, which is present day Duki Tehsil of Loralai (pg 99). The area, thus, came under direct rule of the Khetrans.

After a good deal of fighting among themselves, the Khetrans made Girazo Khan Mazarani their Chief/Sardar. He was succeeded by his son Ikhtiar, who was followed by Mir Haji Khan, whose rule is commemorated by the Khetrans for defeating the Zhob Kakars.

Mir Haji Khan, instead of being succeeded by his son, was succeeded by his brother Sayed Khan, who was elected by the Khetranis. Sayed Khan was also succeeded by his brother Babul Khan. Babul Khan’s succession was, however, opposed by Nawab Khan and Kadir Bakhsh Khetrans, who approached the Marris and, with their support, led a combined army against the Khetrans. This battle was lost by the Khetrans. In 1880, the Khetrans submitted a petition to Sir Robert Sandeman (then Deputy Commissioner of Dera Ghazi Khan), offering to pay revenue in return for British protection. The Khetrans country, thus, came under British control, and remained under the political control of the British Authorities of Dera Ghazi Khan from 1878 to 1883.

In 1883, Sardar Baloch Khan, the Chief of the Khetran tribe, met Mr. Bruce, the Political Agent of Thal-Chotiali,[2] with a Jirga [tribal council] of his tribesmen, and the dispute between the Khetrans, Luni, and Marris was finally settled.

In 1884, the Khetrans were brought under the authority of the British Agent to the Governor General in Balochistan. The Leghari Barkhan circle comprising of two valleys—Barkhan and Vitakari—was transferred from Punjab’s control to Balochistan also in 1884. This district was brought under the direct administration of Balochistan in 1887, when work on the construction of Dera Ghazi Khan-Pishin Road was started and a Tehsildar was posted at Barkhan. In 1889, Barkhan tehsil was transferred to the Zhob Agency, with headquarters at Loralai. This tehsil, however, was transferred to the Thal-Chotiali Agency in 1892. In October 1903 the Thal-Chotiali and Zhob Agencies were re-modeled, and 3 new Agencies—Sibi, Loralai, and Zhob—were created. The Barkhan tehsil was transferred to the Loralai Agency in this restructuring.

In 1887, Sardar Mehrab Khan (born in or around 1853) succeeded his father Sardar Baluch Khan as Chief of the Khetrans. Mehrab Khan was succeeded by his son Shah Ghazi Khan.

Shah Ghazi Khan died in 1942 and his elder son, Muhammad Anwar Jan, was made Sardar of the Khetrans. He was elected Member of the Provincial Assembly in 1970.

Barkhan was given the status of an independent district on 31 December 1991, with its headquarter at Barkhan city.

Figure 1.3 A Jirga of Marri and Khetrani Tribes c1840

Governmental Structure

At the Federal level, Barkhan district is represented in the National Assembly by the National Assembly member of Loralai district. The district has one elected member in the Provincial Assembly:

  • Number of seats in the National Assembly 1
  • Number of seats in the Provincial Assembly 1

Under the Local Government Act 2010, Amended in 2011, Barkhan district has 1 District Council with 1 Municipal committee and 8 Union Councils. Each Union Council is represented by one member in the District Council. In addition, there is special representation of women (33%) and of workers and peasants (5% each).

Administrative Divisions

Barkhan district has a total area of 3,514 km2 and is divided into the following tehsil named after its headquarters:

  • Barkhan tehsil (08 Union Councils)

Historical/ Heritage Sites and Tourism/ Picnic Spots 

There are no historical/ heritage or tourist areas in the district.

 

[1] Lath Afghans are a branch of the Luni Tribe

[2] Thal-Chotiali was a British district; it included the areas now belonging to Barkhan, Sanjawai, and Kohlu. In 1903, Barkhan, Duki, and Sanjawi tehsils were transferred to the new Loralai district and the name of Thal-Chotiali district was changed to Sibi

Topography

The topography of the district is dominated by the mountains and hills of the Suleiman Range which runs mostly in a north-south direction in the eastern portion of the district. The ground elevation of the district ranges from 841 to 2,031 m above mean sea level. The district consists of one main valley called Barkhan, and several smaller valleys, which are separated from the main valley by low ranges of hills running in a southwesterly direction. The Barkhan valley is enclosed on the north side by scattered low hills which divide the drainage water of the valley from the waters flowing into the Rakhni Stream in the southwest, and on the west and northwest side by the great Jandran Range. The valley ends in the Vitakari valley. To the east of the Sukha Daula range is the Kharcha valley, which is bounded by the Phulali range on its east.

The off-shoots of the Suleiman Range run across the district, in a northeast to southwest direction. From east to west, the notable mountain ranges are Phulali, Sukha Daula, Jandran, and Karwadda. The elevation of mountains varies from 1,000 to 2,000 m. Phulali and Sukha Daula Ranges cover the eastern portion, while Jandran Range is in the western portion of the district along the boundary with Kohat district. Mar, Anadari, and Pikal Ranges cover the southern portion of the district. In between the mountain ranges are the valleys where seasonal rivers, streams, and nullahs flow.

Rivers, Streams, and Lakes

The Rakhni Stream and its tributaries flow in the east of the district. Rakhni flows northeast along the eastern boundary of the Barkhan district and receives waters of a number of effluents from the west, of which the principal ones are the Chung, Churi, and Padhi. The Rakhni Stream irrigates the Rakhni and Chacha areas of Barkhan district.

In the south flows the Han stream with its tributaries. The Han stream runs in a southwest direction and carries the drainage of the Han pass and the southeastern slopes of the Jandran Range. At Dhamani (Barkhan tehsil) the stream becomes perennial up to its junction with the Kah River in Dera Ghazi Khan district. Dhaula stream, Kah’s tributary, brings water from the hills situated to the south of the Bagha valley, and irrigates a number of villages in the Barkhan valley, joining Han in Vitakari. Rakhni and Han join the Kah Stream which then flows into the district of Dera Ghazi Khan.

A third important stream is Bala Dhaka. This stream is in Berg-Sham Mauza of the Barkhan tehsil. The stream is a tributary of the Narechi River (Duki Tehsil). Water in this stream flows down from the southwestern slopes of hills located North of the Han pass. The stream irrigates a very small area of Mauza Berg-Sham, and then its water flows into Duki tehsil.

Some other smaller streams are Paniwala, Nagar, Nilri, Serki, and Khuja.

Forests

The topography of the area comprises of high and low mountains, gravelly terraces, and piedmont plains. Due to scanty rainfall and mountainous topography which consists of steep mountains from 1,380 m (Tagha) to 2,402 m (Jandran) high, the environment of Barkhan is not favorable for forests. The area under forest is negligible compared to the total geographical area of the district. Some parts of the district do have coniferous forests while most parts are considered rangelands.

The entire district can be considered to be a mixture of degraded and non-degraded rangelands. The ground is suitable for both summer and winter grazers, including both local and nomads, but grazing is uncontrolled. Most of the rangelands belong to communities established around, and due to, common ownership schemes which are generally accessible to all members of the community as well as traditionally to nomads passing through the area during seasonal migrations for grazing their livestock. Due to a lack of ecological awareness, there are little to no management or restoration efforts for depleted rangelands to encourage better forage production. The clearing of trees from the area, including phulai, olive, and other edible plant species for stall-feeding of the animals has also contributed to the mass destruction of tree cover. In areas where ownership is monopolized by tribal lords, range conditions are still promising because intervention by grazers is limited and, to some extent, controlled.

Figure 1.4 IUCN GIS Map District Barkhan

Soil

The soil of Barkhan district is generally fertile. The most productive soil is in the Baghao area, and is known as Matti (containing mat or silt). Matti soil is also found in the Rarkan and Chuhar Kot areas. Nilli matt (dark bluish, sweet) soil is found in the areas of Leghari, Barkhan, and Chacha. The soil in Isiani, Chahar Kot and Rakhni is known as Nalchhiri Rohli or Watkar (containing gravel and sand). The soil Bili Fursh (dark bluish, saline) which is found in some areas of the district is not suitable for cultivation.[1]

Climate

The climate of Barkhan is moderate and not very hot in summer. Dust storms are common. The winters are cold, especially when the winds blow from the northwest. Storms are common and sometimes damage the crops. Precipitation has two peaks annually: the Monsoon in the summer and western storms in the winter.

The summer season is from April to October, with June being the hottest month. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures in the summer are 38 °C and 24 °C respectively. The winter months are from November to March with January being the coldest month. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures are 16 °C and 4 °C respectively. The highest rainfall is received during July. The mean annual rainfall recorded at Barkhan district over a period of 30 years is 400 mm.

Seismic Activity

The district belongs to Zone 3 of the Seismic Zone Map of Pakistan. This means there will be moderate to severe damage in case of an earthquake.

 

[1] District Profile Barkhan District1998; by GoPakistan.

Population

The following table shows the population of Barkhan as per 2017 Census:

Tehsil Area

km2

Population Male% Female% Urban % Growth Rate %
Barkhan District 3,514 171,556 52.6 47.4 7.1 2.69
Barkhan Tehsil Same as Above

Table 1.2 Barkhan Population

Religion[1]

Muslims 99.78%
Christians Negligible %
Hindus Negligible %
Ahmadis 0.1%
Scheduled Castes 0.1%
Others Negligible %

Table 1.3 Barkhan Religions

Languages[2]

Urdu 0.2%
Punjabi 0.2%
Sindhi Negligible %
Pushto 0.7%
Balochi 74.8%
Seraiki 0.8%
Others[3] 23.2%

Table 1.4 Barkhan Languages

[1] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[2] 1998 Census; 2017 Census Data has not been made public yet.

[3] These include Khetrani dialect of Sindhi language

Economic ActivityEconomic Infrastructure

Economic Activity

The economy of the district is based on agriculture with its allied livestock breeding and fishing/hunting. The major economic occupations of the district are:

  • Agriculture with its allied activities (70.3%)
  • Elementary Occupations (20%)
  • Service workers and shop/market sale workers (4.4%)
  • Clerks (1.7%)
  • Others (3.6%)

Land Use

The following table shows the main land use statistics of the district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Total Area 351,400 HA Reported Area 122,650 HA
Total Cultivated Area 44,051 HA Net Sown 20,373 HA
Current Fallow 23,678 HA Total Uncultivated Area 78,599 HA
Culturable Waste 39,383 HA Forest Area 0.8 HA

Table 1.5 Barkhan Land Use Statistics

Agriculture

The district falls under the barani area and agriculture mostly depends on rains. Important crops are wheat, barley, jowar, bajra, moong, maash, cotton, maize, and fodder.

Fruits of the district include almonds, apples, apricots, grapes, peaches, pomegranate, plums, watermelon, musk melon, pistachios, and cherry.

Vegetables grown in the district include chilies, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, turnip, pumpkin, and brinjal.

Livestock

Livestock breeding is the second most important sector of the economy. It is the main source of income for nomadic families.

The following table shows the Livestock Population in the district from Livestock Census 2006 (qtd. in Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Cattle 117,286 Heads Buffaloes 2,005 Heads Sheep 413,840 Heads
Goats 155,581 Heads Camels 3,930 Heads Horses 2,127 Heads
Mules 150 Heads Asses 9,507 Heads

Table 1.6 Barkhan Livestock Statistics

Kohi camel, lohani cattle, shinghari donkeys, sperki or pidie horse, balochi, kakari, musakhaili, kajjale and bybrik breeds of sheep, and koh-i-suleimani goats are indigenous to the district.

Poultry

There are no commercial poultry farms in the district; poultry is bred in houses by women for eggs and meat. Data on number of poultry farms is, thus, not available.

Bee Keeping/ Apiculture

Due to the arid nature of the landscape, scanty rainfall, and a lack of vegetation, bee keeping at a commercial scale is negligible in Barkhan district.

Fisheries

The district belongs to the semi-cold region which is suitable for the cultivation of common carp and Chinese carp, as well as Mahaseer culture. The scope for fisheries in the district, however, is very limited due to a shortage of water. There are some seasonal rivers and other places that are filled with waters of flash floods where some fish are found. The water from these flash floods could be stored in ponds to fulfill not only irrigation requirements, but also for the development of fisheries.

The kinds of fish found in Barkhan district are rohu, mori, and tala.

Irrigation

The major sources of irrigation are tube wells, karezes, springs, canals, and wells.

Spate irrigation or Rod Kohi system of irrigation is also being practiced in the Jhalwani area of Barkhan district. The following table shows the mode of irrigation and area being irrigated by the mode (Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19):

Total Irrigated Area 17,978 HA Government Canals – HA
Private Canals – HA Wells – HA
Tube Wells 12,493 HA Karez/Spring/Others 5,485 HA

Table 1.8 Barkhan Irrigation Statistics

In order to improve the irrigation system, the Government of Balochistan is building small dams all over Balochistan. The dam being built in Barkhan district is the Nahar Kot Dam, near Nahar Kot Village. This dam is a Delay Action dam, designed to collect rain/ hill torrent water for both irrigation as well as replenishing of ground water.

Manufacturing/ Industry

The industrial and manufacturing sector is non-existent in the district.

Mining

Mineral resources in Barkhan district are negligible.

The Government of Pakistan has awarded a license to Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. to explore oil and gas deposits in the area.

Handicrafts

Embroidery, woven wool, leather work, and carpets are the major handicrafts of the district.

The handicraft cottage industries also include products made with the leaves and other parts of a plant called mazri. These products include baskets, mats, and other household goods. Carpets made with sheep’s wool and other woven articles manufactured by Channal (a class of professional weavers) include Chhori, Khai, and Chanji (made with goat and camel hair).

Economic Infrastructure

Barkhan district is linked by road with Punjab province and with the provincial capital, Quetta. There are no airports or railway lines in the district. Buses, coaches, wagons, trucks, and other vehicles arrive from Quetta, Loralai, Dera Ghazi Khan, and other parts of the province through black topped roads. The absence of farm to market roads is an obstacle for agriculture and livestock development. Other sectors also suffer from this lack of infrastructure.

Roads

According to the Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19, the following table shows road statistics of the district:

Total Roads 798 km
High Type Roads/black topped 464 km
Low Type Roads/Shingle 334 km

Table 1.7 Barkhan Road Statistics

An important road of the district is the 38 km portion of National Highway N-70 which runs through the district. The rest of the black topped roads are Provincial Highways which connect Barkhan with other districts, and include:

  • Rakni to Barkhan
  • Nahar Kot to Kohlu
  • Road from Dera Ghazi Khan to Musa Khel passes through the district
  • Road from Dera Bugti to Loralai passes through the district

Other parts of the district are connected with each other through shingle roads.

Rail and Airways

There is no airport or railway station in the district. The nearest railway station and airport are at Dera Ghazi Khan.

Radio and Television

There are no radio or television stations in the district. Because of the absence of TV transmission, the use of satellite dishes is increasing, especially in towns, while cable TV is also available. Radio transmissions from Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, and the BBC can be received throughout the district.

Telecommunications

In Barkhan district, Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) has established 3 auto exchanges providing 702 landline connections, 1,167 wireless phone connections and 619 broadband connections.[1] In addition, all major cellular services are available in the district.

Post Offices/ Courier Services[2]

There are 05 post offices in the district, and most of the courier services provide services.

Banking/Financial Institutions

Banks with branches in the district include (list of bank branches 2019, by State Bank of Pakistan):

  • National Bank of Pakistan Ltd.
  • Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd.

There are  total of three bank branches in the District.

Energy Sources

In Barkhan district, Quetta Electric Supply Company (QESCO) looks after the supply of electricity. The electricity is supplied through 2 grid stations, one at Barkhan, and the other at Rakhni. A transmission line of 132 KVA supplies electricity via Dera Ghazi Khan[3].

There is no natural gas pipeline in the district. Instead of natural gas, people use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

[1] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[2] Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19

[3] District Development Plan 2011; by GoBalochistan and UNICEF

Education

The following table shows the number of primary, middle, secondary, and mosque schools in the district as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution Boys/Girls Institution Boys/Girls
Primary Schools 410/155 Middle Schools 16/18
High Schools 17/06 Community Schools 14
Higher Secondary 01/01 Degree Colleges -/-
Universities Mosque Schools[1]
Vocational Training Schools

Table 1.9 Barkhan Educational Institutes

In addition there are privately owned educational institutions in the District.

Health

The following table shows the Government Health Care Institutions in Barkhan District as per Balochistan Development Statistics 2018-19:

Institution No./beds Institution No./beds
Teaching Hospitals Hospitals 1/10
Rural Health Centers Basic Health Units 07/-
Dispensaries 13/- Mother Child Health Centers 02/-
TB/Leprosy Clinics

Table 1.10 Barkhan Health Institutes

 There are zero privately owned hospitals[2] in the district.

Policing

For the purpose of administration, the district is divided into 2 areas: “A” and “B”. The town area of Barkhan comes under “A” area and the rest of the area of the district falls in “B” area. “A” area is controlled by a regular police force headed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP). This DSP is assisted by Station House Officer (SHO), Inspector Police, and other staff. The “B” area is controlled by the Levies Force. Levies are a conventional force to maintain law and order. In levies, men of different tribes are employed. The Levies Force comes under the direct control of the Deputy Commissioner. Generally, the Levies Force is well equipped to deal with the law and order situation in the district. In case of any problem, Barkhan Militia, known as Maiwand Rifles (Para Military Force), is called in by the Deputy Commissioner for help.

There are 02 Police Stations in Barkhan district according to table number 19.7 (a) Number of Police Stations by Division/District 2019 by Federal Bureau of Statistics.

Figure 1.5 Bibar Tak Mountain, Barkhan

Figure 1.6 A view of Barkhan Valley

Figure 1.7 Barkhan City

[1] included in primary schools

[2] Balochistan Development Statistics, 2018-19

Environment and Biodiversity

Barkhan district is located in the northeast of Balochistan province, and the major environmental problems of the district are degradation of water aquifers, and the disappearance of vegetation.

In the absence of industrial units, there is no brown pollution.

Flora and Fauna

Flora

The district has the following vegetation zones:[1]

  • Uphill steep rocky cliffs: Major vegetation includes phulai (Acacia modesta), wild olive (Olea cuspidata), jujube or ber (Zizyphus nummularia), and karir (Capparis aphylla)
  • Foothills: This region comprises mostly of the fertile deep soil plateaus and provides summer and winter grazing land for both local and nomadic grazers. It is dominated by a variety of shrubs like jujube or ber (Zizyphus nummularia), tharkha or sea wormweed (Artimisia meritima), prunes (Prunus ebernea), shinalak/makhi or dwarf pea shrub (Caragana ambigua), barberry or zralg (Berberis lyceum, Zralg), mazri palm (Nannorrhops ritchieana) and ghuzaira or sophera (Sophora griffithii, Ghuzaira) associated with herbs and grasses. Mesquite is now rapidly encroaching the native ecosystem
  • Piedmont plains: The plains have mostly been modified by the local community for agriculture and other land uses. It consists of more or less flat to undulating plains. The wasteland contains mostly tharkha or sea wormweed (Artimesia meritima), mazri palm (Nannorrhops ritchieana), dwarf saxaul (Haloxylon griffithii), sophera or ghuzaira (Sophora griffithii), and harmal (Paganum hermala), with a sporadic mixture of edible seasonal forage plants which support thousands of animals, both local and nomadic. In some pockets, there is sporadic growth of roheda or honey tree (Tecomella undulata) and karir (Capparis aphylla). A mixture of grass (Chrysopogon spp.), lemon grass (Cymbopogon spp.) and grass (Stipa himalacia) is a common feature
  • Dry stream beds: These beds are commonly found in the entire district where salt cedar (Tamarix Spp.) and munja grass (Sacharum munja) are common

Some of the medicinal plants of the district include prickly chaff flower or puthkanda (achyranthes aspera), chickory or kasni (cichorium intebus), field bind weed or heron khuri (convolvulus arvensis), doodhi (euphorbia prostata), and wild mint or podina (mentha spicata).

Fauna

Wild animals in the district are wolves, jackals, hyenas, foxes, wild-cats, mongoose, deer, and hare. Birds found in the district are chakors and see-see partridges in the hills, as well as grey partridges, pigeons, sand grouse, quails, and waterfowls in the plains. All over the district, there are numerous vultures, kites, doves, sparrows, larks, and hoopoes. Snakes, and white and black quails are also found in the district.

Wildlife Protected Areas

There are no protected areas for either wildlife or forests in the district, though its rangelands with grassland plantations of the dwarf mazri palm (Nannorhops ritcheana) and other steppic plantations are a source of livelihood for the population.

[1] Barkhan District Development Profile 2011 by GoB