It is well known how forty years of war have devastated the historical treasures of Afghanistan. The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas and the Kabul Museum in the final stages of Taliban rule sent shock waves around the world and photographs of ruined buildings and monuments are a constant backdrop to the endless pessimistic headlines. While we should lament these losses of material culture, there has been little coverage of another sort of damage caused by war: the decimation of Afghanistan’s wildlife.
Afghanistan once boasted an astonishing variety of animal species. It owed this profusion to its place at the geographical heart of the Silk Road, making it a meeting point for species from across Asia. It had the Indian rhinoceros, the fang-bearing musk deer and the Marco Polo sheep (first described