juniper forest in ziarat pakistan

1 of the Oldest Forests in Balochistan – Juniper Forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan is a popular tourist spot in Ziarat Valley Balochistan. Juniper Forest gained its reputation as a spa resort after the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, stayed there in the summer of 1948, during the last days of his life. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Ziarat Juniper Forest Location

Juniper Forest in Ziarat Pakistan is located around 120 km (75 mi) east of the provincial capital of Balochistan i.e. Quetta.

Ziarat Juniper Forest is a juniper forest in Ziarat, Balochistan, Pakistan.

Age of Trees in Juniper Forest

Juniper forest occurs between 2,000 and 3,000 meters above sea level along ridge tops and on moderate to steep slopes (18º to 30º). They grow mostly in dense, open and clean stands without stratification. The age of the oldest trees is 5000 to 7000 years, for which they are called living fossils.

Total Area of Juniper Forest in Ziarat Pakistan

The Ziarat area is home to the largest area of juniper forest (juniperus excelsa polycarpus) in Pakistan with an area of about 110,000 ha and is considered to be the second largest of its kind in the world. Ziarat junipers are among the oldest living trees in the world. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Oldest Forest in Pakistan

The juniper forests of Ziarat in Pakistan’s Balochistan province are some of the largest – and oldest – in the world. According to a report submitted to UNESCO in April 2016 by Pakistan’s Directorate General of Archaeology, the Ziarat forests cover nearly 110,000 hectares. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Largest Juniper Forest in the World

The undisputed number 1 is probably the most famous forest on Earth, the South American Amazon. The forest of all forests, with its fabulous 5,500,000 km2, not only has the largest area, but is also home to one of the ten species living on Earth. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

The Ziarat area is home to the largest area of juniper forest (juniperus excelsa polycarpus) in Pakistan with an area of about 110,000 ha and is considered to be the second largest of its kind in the world. Ziarat junipers are among the oldest living trees in the world. 

Although no dendrological study has yet been conducted, one estimate is that mature trees are often thousands of years old. Local people refer to the trees as “living fossils”, and this remarkable longevity allows research into past weather conditions in the region, making the species of particular importance to climate change and ecological studies.

Ziarat Juniper Forest Eco System

The forest lies in a mountain range with an altitude from 1,181 to 3,488 m above sea level and is characterized by a high species diversity. The Ziarat juniper forest ecosystem is located at the intersection of five vegetation zones. The plant species forming the vegetation cover thus offer a unique combination of five different vegetation types, which makes them a distinctive global location in terms of plant composition. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

The vegetation of the Ziarat Forest Ecosystem includes species from: Western Irano-Turanian Subregion, Eastern Irano-Turanian Subregion, Sino-Japanese Region, Indian Region, and Saharo Sindian Region The mountain range, including Khalifat Mountain, provides habitat for endangered species. 

Wild species; recorded mammals include endangered species such as the Baluchistan black bear (also called the Pakistani black bear, which is a subspecies of the Asiatic black bear), Ursus thibetanus and Sulaiman Markhor, Capra falconeri jerdoni, and birds such as Chukar, milk thrush, dark-throated thrush, laughing thrush with striped, Simla black tit and white-tailed creeper. 

It also supports a rich diversity of plant species; including other trees like Wild Ash, Wild Pistachio, Wild Almond, Makhi, Surai and Zralg. The essential oils from the branches and fruits of juniper (juniperus excelsa polycarpus) have antioxidant properties that have made it an important medicinal plant since ancient times.  Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Ziarat Forest also contains a rich diversity of plant species of medicinal importance with more than 50 percent of the 54 cataloged species known to have medicinal or ethnobotanical value and used by local people as indigenous treatments for various ailments. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Juniper Forest in UNESCO List

The Ziarat Juniper Forest was declared a biosphere reserve in 2013 as a model region for research and demonstration of successful approaches to conservation and sustainable development. In accordance with UNESCO specifications, they are divided into a core area, a buffer zone and a transition area defined according to how strongly they are affected by human activity. It also operates a biosphere management system.

According to the IUCN Red List, subpopulations of juniper excelsa polycarpus are under pressure and in many areas juniper forests are actually declining. There may be other regions where junipers, which are pioneer trees in many ways, are increasing, but the overall trend at present appears to be one of decline. Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Change that such forests will play a vital role in storing the amount of carbon in their biomass and soil and that in the future these forests will play a key role in supporting the cause of carbon sequestration.

Rapid changes in the past decade have created unprecedented comfort for the human being, but these sudden changes come at a great cost. An example is the rapidly growing furniture industry, which thrives at the expense of cutting down large swathes of forested land.  Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

One such forest is the Juniper forest, which is among the oldest forests on the planet. These forests are distributed all over the world at high altitudes, mostly above 2000 meters. The Ziarat region of Balochistan (Pakistan) is also the natural habitat for the Juniperus species, which is approximately 5000 years old.  Juniper forest in Ziarat Pakistan

Nowadays, under the great threat of deforestation and forest degradation, these trees are cut down for many purposes such as household burning, agricultural extension, construction, medicine and furniture.

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