Associates in the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow, Afghanistan
The Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow is a large ecoregion of Afghanistan comprising approximately 25,700 square miles in land area. This ecoregion is classified in the Montane Grasslands and Shrublands biome. Vegetation at the higher altitudes is necessarily hardy, having to combat alternatively frost and drought. The Critically Endangered Paghman Mountain salamander (Paradactylodon mustersi) is endemic to this ecoregion; moreover, its total population is estimated to no more than 2000 individuals. The survival of the salamander is threatened by ongoing stream diversions, since the aquatic habitat of this taxon is restricted to a very small area of specialized coldwater habitat.
The Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow is situated within Afghanistan's central highlands, being comprised of both high alpine meadow and steppe, as well as desert and lacustrine shoreline habitat. Vegetation at the higher altitudes of the ecoregion is hardy, having to combat alternatively frost and drought. At lower elevations, some portions are flooded with spring snowmelt. Areas that do not receive snowmelt runoff, and are alos of scant precipitation usually manifest scrub cover. The southernmost portion of the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow ecoregion lies in the high mountains, representing the northern portion of the Zabul Province; there the habitat is characterized by meadows, willows and certain buckthorn taxa.
There are a total of 190 recorded vertebrate species within the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow ecoregion. Native non-endemic special status mammals of the ecoregion are: the Near Threatened argali (Ovis ammon), the Vulnerable Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), the Near Threatened Euphrates jerboa (Allactaga euphratica), the Near Threatened European otter (Lutra lutra), the Vulnerable goitered gazelle (Gazella subguttarosa), the Near Threatened leopard (Panthera pardus), the Vulnerable marbled polecat (Vormela peregusna), the Near Threatened Screiber's long-fingered bat (Miniopterus schreibersii), the Endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and the Near Threatened striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena).
C. Michael Hogan marked "Associates in the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow, Afghanistan" as visible on the "Paradactylodon mustersi (Smith, 1940)" page.
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C. Michael Hogan marked "Associates in the Ghorat-Hazarajat alpine meadow, Afghanistan" as hidden on the "Paradactylodon mustersi (Smith, 1940)" page.