|Freshwater||125||20||No||84||Kottelat, M. and T. Whitten, 1996|
|Conservation||Knowledge of the fish fauna is very fragmentary and many additional species should be expected. Of the 84 species reported from the country, 67 come from a single river basin. Considering the topography of the country, it seems likely that many species could have very restricted distributional ranges. Because Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world, the national report to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) identified socio-economic problems, such as poverty and poor health, rather than the environment, as the main areas of concern. The following information is to be sought: - Existence of conservation plans; - Current major threats to species; - Future potential threats to species; - Contact(s) for further information.|
|Geography and Climate||
Afghanistan is a landlocked country, predominantly mountainous country with about three-quarters of its surface consisting of uplands. The main lowlands are a series of river valleys in the north and various desert regions in the south and southwest. The Hindu Kush is the principal mountain system in Afghanistan. With its various offshoots, it extends for about 966 kilometres (about 600 miles) from the Pamirs range in the northeast to the border with Iran in the west. The average elevation of the Hindu Kush is about 4,270 metres (about 14,000 feet), but some peaks are as high as 7,620 metres (25,001 feet), with the highest peak, Tirich Mir, reaching 7,699 metres (25,260 feet).North of the Hindu Kush, the Turkestan Plains descend to the Amu Darya on the northern border. After broadening into the Hazarajat central plateau, the mountains level off into western deserts, such as the Rigestan.Natural passes penetrate the mountains of Afghanistan at various points, facilitating travel within the country as well as communication with neighbouring countries. In the Hindu Kush, the only pass lower than 3,050 metres (10,006 feet) is the Shebar Pass (2,987 metres/9,800 feet), which connects the Kabul region with the northern part of the country. The historic Khyber Pass on the northeastern border is the best known of the mountain passes. It traverses the Sulaiman Range and affords relatively easy access to Pakistan.
The climate of Afghanistan varies according to elevation and location. Kabul, for example, at 1,676 metres (about 5,499 feet) has cold winters and pleasant summers. Jalalabad (about 550 metres/about 1,805 feet high) is subtropical. Kandahar (1,006 metres/3,300 feet) is mild year-round. Overall, daytime temperatures may range from freezing at dawn to almost 38°C (100°F) at noon. Summer temperatures as high as 49°C (120°F) have been recorded in the northern valleys. Midwinter temperatures as low as 9°C (16°F) are common at the 1,980-metre (6,496-foot) level in the Hindu Kush.Afghanistan is a relatively dry country. Average annual rainfall is about 305 millimetres (about 12 inches), with most of the rainfall occurring between the months of October and April. Sandstorms are frequent in the deserts and arid plains.
Ref. Microsoft, 1996
Afghanistan relies on four major river systems for its water: the Amu Darya, known in ancient times as the Oxus, on the border with Tajikistan; the Kabul, which flows into the Indus River; the Helmand in the south, the longest river in the country; and, in the west, the Harirud. All of these, with the exception of the Kabul, empty into lakes or swamps.
Ref. Microsoft, 1996