These majestic ranges are home to some of the world's most fascinating and endangered wild species, including the markhor (Capra falconeri
), Marco Polo sheep (Ovis ammon polii), musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster), Himalayan lynx (Lynx lynx), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), brown bear (Ursus arctos), Indian wolf (Canis lupus), Himalayan ibex (Capra sibirica), and the snow leopard, which is taken as an indicator of this mountainous ecosystem.
Limited trophy hunting has been in practice in Pakistan since 1980s in Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwah (former north west Frontier province), and Gilgit-Baltistan (formerly part of the Federally Administered Areas) provinces as a management tool for the conservation of Suleiman Markhor (Capra falconeri
), Blanford or Balochistan Urial, Sindh Ibex (Capra hircus blythi), Flare-horned Markhor (Capra falconeri
falconeri) and Himalayan Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica).
The wild fauna includes the markhor (Capra falconeri
), the collared pika (Ochotona rufescens), the migratory hamster (Cricetulus migratorius), the stone marten (Martes foina), the forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula), Persian jird (Meriones persicus) and the mouse-like hamster (Calomyscus bailwardi).
In Central Asia are a half-dozen races of the twist-horned markhors (Capra falconeri
), collectively and individually the animals most prized by mountain hunters.
Astore markhor (Capra falconeri
falconeri) blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) Ladakh urial (Ovis vignei) Marco Polo's sheep (Ovis ammon polii) Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica) woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereus) and Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) are key mammals (Roberts 1977; Schaller 2008; Ablimit et al.
Fauna of the study area has affinities to Palearctic region and major species include; Snow leopard (Uncia uncia), Black bear (Ursus thibetanus), Himalayan lynx (Lynx lynx), Grey wolf (Canus lupus), Asiatic jackal (Canus aureus), Markhor (Capra falconeri
), Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica), Cape hare (Lepus capensis), Snow cock (Tetraogallous himalayensis) and Chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar) (GoNWFP, 2006; Din and Nawaz, 2010).