Balochistan is blessed with hundreds of thousands of species of plants and animals, varying from the ibex, black bear, brown rabbits, markhor, tortoise and migratory birds that include zaarhi, zark, sisi and even the tiniest mouse in the world, called the pygmy jerboa. Undoubtedly, Baluchitherium is one of the largest land mammals that ever existed on Earth. After being extinct, it was discovered by a French palaeontologist Jean-Loup Welcomme in Dera Bugti. The Pygmy Jerboa mouse, which is equal to the size of a cent was first discovered in Chagai by JA Anderson. From salty seas to barren deserts and from deep oceans to bleak plains, wild animals native to the province face the ongoing threat of cruelty and annihilation which is exceeding without any respite in Balochistan. A farmer from Kolahoo narrates, “Druchk was in abundance in those days and we could not get rid of pests but these faced the ongoing threat of over hunting and now, one can rarely see the bird and there aren’t any measures to reduce this exceeding hunting.” Among the other fast disappearing wild animals, the native markhor and ibex species are also fading rapidly from mountains and forests. These species are being challenged by poaching and illegal hunting. This complicated web of cause and effect is upsetting for the entire natural ecosystem. Marine animals like dolphins, whales, turtles and leather back turtles are facing extinction too in the Arabian Sea and rivers. On my recent visit to Gwadar, I could barely see a single part of the beach or a clean coast. Plastic bags and other items have doubled the threat to marine life. It’s mentioned that plastic bags degrade slowly, polluting waterways and it’s tragic that scientists believe that there’ll be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2030 if no action is taken. Among the other fast disappearing wild animals, the native markhor and ibex species are also fading rapidly from mountains and forests. These species are challenged by poaching and illegal hunting. This complicated web of cause and effect is upsetting for the entire natural ecosystem Besides, it is a far cry that in remote areas of Balochistan, every second person is a hunter which remains not only a big threat to finch species and other animals, but it remains a constant threat to the complete wildlife. In my early childhood days, half a decade back, whenever I, with my friends used to go in the mountains for leisure time, we would see foxes and rabbits, but on my recent visit I could hardly see or encounter a single of them. The government hasn’t taken any concrete actions and organisations like SUSG-C Asia is also working in collaboration with the Wildlife & Forest Department to prevent the extinction of wildlife. Unfortunately, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources are paying less attention towards the safeguard of biodiversity and animals native to the province. Instead of protecting our wildlife, we are bent on appeasing Arab sheikhs through the ‘hunting diplomacy’. To prevent the decline, the government must include a syllabus regarding the significance of biodiversity and it should be shared with schools to bring awareness to the youth about the amazing natural heritage that is theirs. Every Baloch parent should tell their child about beautiful forests and animals native to Balochistan. Most importantly, some funds from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor should also be earmarked for the protection of wildlife. It’s our responsibility to protect and save the nature and its beauty. If not, then we won’t be able to look at the animals of Balochistan in real life but in photos only. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, February 28th 2019.