Afghanistan is a land-locked country with six neighbors and covers an area of 652,000 sq. km. Elevation varies from 258 m to 7,485 m and the highest point is in the Pamir Mountains (where there are glaciers and permanent snow cover), near the Chinese border in the Far East. Only an estimated 12% of the land area is arable. The human population is estimated at approximately 28,000,000 and is growing at an annual rate of 2.6%. Bio-diversity resources comprise an estimated 3,500-4,000 native species of vascular plants, 428- 515 bird species, 37-150 mammal species, 101-139 fish species, 92-112 reptile species and 6-8 amphibian species. The number of endemic species is relatively low for vertebrates (7 species), but high for plants (possibly more than 1000 species).
Afghanistan has made efforts to prepare species listing and assessment procedures. Apart from that, the country is an active member of Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). At the moment, Afghanistan is following the presidential decree to ban wildlife hunting and its trade. However, there are still illegal hunting and trading of many species such as Leopard, Snow Leopard, Marco Polo Sheep, Sacker Falcon, Afghan Tortoise, Bonnelli’s Eagle through secondary routes. The Afghan Tortoise is new to the illegal wildlife trade in the country.