Lal Suhanra

Lal Suhanra Biosphere Reserve and National Park is situated in the north-west edge of the Cholistan Desert in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. This arid landscape is relatively flat and interspersed with sand dunes up to 1,000 hectares in extent and 4 meters in height, some of which are unstable.

Nomination date: 1977
Surface area: 65,791 ha
Administrative division: Lal Suhanra National Park Administration

Human Activities

There are archaeological remains of an ancient civilization which once flourished along the Hakra River. The about 6,000 people in the biosphere reserve mostly follow their traditional nomadic lifestyle (1997) but also benefit from tourism. The area attracts about 1 million national and 50,000 foreign tourists each year (1997). Television, radio and cinemas as well as field trips and lectures are used to increase environmental awareness in the area.

Ecological characteristics

Lal Suhanra Biosphere Reserve and National Park is situated in the north-west edge of the Cholistan Desert in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. This arid landscape is relatively flat and interspersed with sand dunes up to 1,000 hectares in extent and 4 meters in height, some of which are unstable. The biosphere reserve is crossed by the dried-up bed of the Hakra River and comprises Patisar Lake and irrigated land. The lake (1,935 hectares) was originally built as a water reservoir and used to be an important wetland as a wintering site of many waterfowls. However, today the pond supports extensive reed beds, submerged and floating aquatic vegetation, thus it has lost its habitat function for most birds.

Sub-tropical thorn forest with Calligonum polygonoides, Calotropis procera, Capparis decidua, Prosopis cineraria Tamarix aphylla etc.; lesser Cholistan desert characterized by Crotalaria burhia, Zizyphus mauritania, Haloxylon recurvum, Aerva javanica etc.; irrigated plantations with Acacia nilotica, Dalbergia sisso, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Prosopis cineraria, Tamarix aphylla, Capparis decidua, Salvadora oleoides; freshwater wetlands including species such as Eichornia crassipes, Hydrilla verticillata, Nelumbo nucifera, Nymphaea lotus, Phragmites karka and Typha domingensis.


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                                                                                   Last update: December 2013

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