Species Diversity

Analysis of species records in UNEP (2009) indicates that there are 137 – 150 species of mammals, 428 – 515 birds, 92 – 112 reptiles, 6 – 8 amphibians, 101 – 139 fish, 245 butterflies, and 3500 – 4000 vascular plant species native to Afghanistan. The range in numbers results from uncertainty in taxonomy and the questionable validity of some records. Only 7 vertebrate species (Mammals, none; Birds, Afghan Snow Finch [Montifringilla theresae]; Reptiles, Leviton’s Gecko [Asiocolotes levitoni], Cyrtopodion voraginosus, Eremias aria, Point-snouted Racerunner [Eremias afghanistanica], Amphibians, Paghman Mountain Salamander [Batrachuperus mustersi]; Fish, Triplophysa farwelli) are known to be endemic to Afghanistan, but estimates for endemic plant species range as high as 30% . Much more basic biological survey work and synthesis needs to be done to fully understand the country’s biodiversity..