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  • Моя Казань
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    Nature reserve

    A network of protected areas has been established in Azerbaijan in order to preserve areas of natural importance from the negative of human activities. These protected areas are recognized as having ecological, scientific, cultural and aesthetic values, and fall under the following categories:

    • state natural reserves, including biosphere reserves
    • national and natural parks
    • ecological parks

    • natural monuments
    • state natural restricted areas
    • zoological parks
    • botanic and dendrological parks
    • health spas and resorts

    a z e r b a i j a n

    There are also special buffer zones around these areas, and other natural areas such as rivers and water sources. The level of protection given to different protected areas depends on their significance - be it international national, regional or local.

    The protected areas are not evenly distributed across the country, but the main landscapes of ecological importance are represented within the protected areas system. The types of protected area in the network include National Parks, Natural Reserves (designated for the protected of the natural environment, and scientific purposes), Restricted Areas, and other sites (table). The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources manages protected areas of biological importance, including two National Parks, the State National Reserves, State Restricted Areas and natural monuments. A range of individual trees are also protected as national monuments, however a number of important trees have been lost as a result of a number of factors, including the direct and indirect impacts of the Armenian conflict and occupation of territory. The number of protected ancient trees has declined from 2,083 to 1,810, whilst the total area of protected forest declined from 15,097 to 6,944 hectares.

    The number of protected areas established in Azerbaijan.
    Type of reserve Number of reserves
    National parks 3
    State natural reserves 16
    State restricted areas 22
    Protected trees (over 100 years) 2 038
    Protected geological and paleontological sites 37
    Coastal national park (Baku) 1
    Historical natural state reserve (Gobustan) 1

    In 1988 the government published a plan for the future development of the national protected areas system up to 2010, with a target for covering a total of 954,000 ha. To date the area covered five of the protected areas has been increased by 36,600 ha, and they now cover a total area of 70,700 ha. In addition, a Presidential Decree established Ordubad National Park (12,131 ha), Shahbuz State Natural Preserve in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (3,139 ha), Gakh State Natural Restricted Area (36,836 ha), Shirvan National Park (54,373 ha) and Ag-Gol National Park (17,924 ha). Future expansions are still planned.

    Shirvan National Park
    Established with the purpose of protection and breeding of jeirans and waterfowls. Several types of vegetation are developed in the reserve. It is prevailed sweet absinthium. There are many gramineous plants. From Amphibious there can be found Syrian green toad, tree-frog and lacustrine frog; from reptiles there are marsh, Caspian and Mediterranean turtles, striped lizards, ordinary and water snakes, lizard snakes - giurza and etc. Bustard, Turach, Little Bustard, Erne, Rock Egle, Falcon, Baloban, Black-belly Sandgrouse inhabit in the reserve. In winter lot of migratory birds stay on reservoirs: Grey Ducks, Mallards, Pintails etc. From rare species of mammals here there are jeiran, wild boar, wolf, jackal, fox, badger, cane cat, grey hare and etc.

    Ag-Gol National Park
    Area - 17924 hectares. It encloses Lake Ag-Gol area of water. Preserved Lake Ag-Gol (White Lake) can be named "ornithological oasis" - this is not only a preserved area but one of the important wintering places in the republic.
    20 species of fishes inhabit in the reserve. Green toad, lake and ordinary frogs are to be met out of amphibians in the reserve. Out of reptiles - there are Caspian and marsh turtles, ordinary and water snakes. 134 species of birds are included in ornithofauna. There are Marble-teal, Pink and Curly Pelicans.
    22 species are presented out of mammals. Wild boar, coypu and cane cat are to be often found. Unique colonial nests of waders and long-legged birds were preserved here.

    Zagatala reserve
    Zagatala state nature reserve organized on the area of 25218 hectares from which 48 hectares - is occupied by reservoirs.
    Present-day flora of the reserve counts more than one thousand species. From ancient plants there can be found yellow rhododendron, cherry-laurel herb, Caucasian bilberries, yew-berry (Taxus baccata), velvety maple, fern, eastern beach, also pale maple, Georgian oak. Fauna of the reserve is rich as well. Here there inhabit dagestani tur, chamois, deer, roe deer, wild boar, brown bear, badger, fox, weasel, stone and forest marten, lynx, forest cat, squirrel, etc.
    Fauna of birds includes 104 species, among of which there are several big birds of prey: Eared Owl, Kestrel, Egyption Vulture, White-head Vulture, Black Vulture and etc. Amongst rare, particularly protected birds there are Golden Eagle, Falcon, Caucasian Heath-cock and Ular. Eight species of amphibious are spread in the reserve: comb triton, Caucasian garden-spider, green and ordinary toads, lacustrine frogs, Transcaucasian and Asia Minor frogs. From reptiles there can be found aesculapius and Transcaucasian runners, water snakes, grass-snakes.

    Ilyisui reserve
    Ilyisui state nature reserve organized in 1987 on a space of 9.2 thousand hectares. Favorable climatic conditions (mild winter, cool summer, warm spring and autumn, abundance of precipitation, absence of long droughts and strong frost) assist in formation of lavish vegetation, and particularly forest.
    Around 300 species of plants are to be found on the reserve territory. There are herbs (about 50), endemic and rare disappearing species in the reserve flora, such as berry, birch. 93% of the territory is occuped by deciduous forests. Beech, oak and hornbeam are prevailing. Lime, nut-tree, chestnut, ash-tree, maple and etc. are growing.
    From fauna there are tur, deer, chamois, roe deer, bear, wild boar, marten and etc. There are a lot of river trout, eastern bistryainka, and barbel. From amphibious there are frogs, green and ordinary toads, Caucasian and Minor Asia frogs. Reptiles are presented by 12 species in the reserve. There more than 91 species of birds in fauna: Black Hawk, Black Kite, Goshawk, Golden Eagle, Lammergeyer, Vulture, Falcon, Caucasian Heath-cock, Scops Owl, Eagle Owl, Eared Owl, Hoopoe, Woodpecker, etc.

    Ismailly reserve
    Ismailly state nature reserve organized on a space of 5778 hectares and preserves mainly natural oak and chestnut forests. About 170 species of vertebrates inhabit in the reserve. River trout, khramuli, eastern bistryanka and barbel are found in rivers. There are 6 species of amphibious; rare in Azerbaijan comb triton inhabits in forest zone. In the reserve 17 species of reptiles are to be found: turtles - Caspian, marsh and Mediterranean, runners - yellow stomach, olive, four-lane and patterned, snakes - Caucasian cat snakes, grass-snakes.
    104 species of birds are found in the reserve. So rare birds such as Golden Eagle and Caucasian Heath-cock, Lammergeyer are nestling here. Brown bear, wolf, jackal, marten, badger, wild cat, notably deer, roe deer, wild boar, chamois, Dagestani tur and etc. inhabit here.

    Pirkulli reserve
    Pirkulli state nature reserve organized in 1968 with the purpose of protection of characteristic natural complex and landscapes Samakhly plateau - one of the beautiful regions of the south-east part of the Greater Caucasian range. Area of the reserve is 1521 hectares, most part of it - forest tract where 45 rare and endemic species are to be found such as yew berry (Taxus baccata). From predator mammals brown bear, wolf, jackal, fox wild cat, lynx, badger, forest and stone marten, weasel, raccoon inhabit in forests. Striped hyena is also to be found - rare species for all Caucasian fauna. Wild boar and roe deer, notably deer live here.

    Turinchay reserve
    60 species of arboreous and shrubs grow on the reserve territory. These are: pistachio-tree, three sorts juniper, Georgian oak, ordinary ash-tree, Caucasian carcas, ordinary pomegranate etc. 24 species of mammals and 112 species of birds, 20 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibious inhabit in the reserve. From birds there can be met Keklik, Rock Pigeon, Turtle-dove, Kestrel, White-head Vulture, Black Vulture etc. From mammals there are wild boars, brown bear, badger, stone marten, lynx, jackal, wild cat, hare etc.

    Bastuchay reserve
    Bastuchay state nature reserve is organized on area of 107 hectares with the aim of protection of unique platan groves. Plane-trees are approx. 107 years old, but real giant trees are also to be found, aging 1200-1500 years.

    Geygel reserve
    Geygel state nature reserve is the first nature reserve in Azerbaijan. Here is the only grove of Eldar pine-tree in the world.
    Geygel - is the biggest and the most beautiful mountain lake in Azerbaijan. The water is fresh, transparent and seems blue due to which the lake got its name - Geygel - that means blue (in Azeri) in translation. Totally there are eight lakes on the reserve area surrounded by mountains and the landscapes of each lake is quite diverse.
    The animal kingdom of the reserve is represented by such species of animals and birds as Caucasian notably deer, roe deer, badger, eastern Caucasian tur, brown bear, stone and forest marten, Lammergeyer, Black Vulture, Caspian ular and others. More than 50 species of birds nestle in the reserve. Flora consists of 420 sorts of plants. Around 20 sorts of flora - Caucasian endemics of dogrouse Nizam, cuff astragalus, carnation, geranium Ryprskh etc.

    Karayazy reserve
    The main protected objects are the largest massifs of tugai forests. It is specific the animal kingdom of the reserve. Khramuli, kari, wild carp, bream, pike-perch, murtsa, sheat-fish, pike, trout and others are to be found in the river Araz. In the reserve there are distinguished 6 species of amphibians, 10 species of reptiles, birds - more than 70 species. There can be met wild boar, notably deer, wolf, jackal, cane and forest cat, fox, weasel, stone marten, badger. Out of birds interesting are White-tail Sea Eagle, Black Stork and Pheasant.

    Kizilagach reserve
    Kizilagach state nature reserve is situated on the south-west coast of Caspian Sea. The whole area of the reserve is an important holiday and wintering place for migratory birds in Caspian region. 248 species of birds are to be found in the reserve including Turach, Sultanka, Little bustard, kara-vayka, kolnina, Egyptian and Yellow Herons, Swans, Flamingo, Grey and White-head Geese, Kazarka, Falcon, Rock Eagle, Ducks, Pelicans, Coot, and etc. Out of mammals jackal, cane cat, badger, otter, fox and others inhabit in the reserve. 54 species if fish live in reservoirs there: chub, wild carp, kutum, grey mullet, salmon, sturgeon, etc.

    Gobustan reserve
    There are many mud volcanoes including active ones on its territory. The biggest is Turagay, height of which reaches 407m. Gobustan land is rich in archeological monuments. At present about 20 halting places and settlements of ancient human beings are explored.
    But a wide fame has been brought to Gobustan by petroglyphs hewed by our distant ancestors. Totally there are more than 6000 rock paintings in the reserve with images of primitive people, ritual dances, towns with armed and unarmed oarsmen, and images of the sun in the fore part, warriors with spears, etc. Age of the most ancient image is more than 10000 years. A comparatively big book draws attention amongst stone "books". It is enough to touch it with a stone and it gives melodious sounds of various height-rhythm. This is the "Gaval dash" (tambourine stone) letting out sounds "tam tam".

    natural monuments
    Natural monuments on the territory of Azerbaijani Republic are specific and well-preserved small areas of most typical landscapes, scenic corners of special aesthetic value, definite areas with endemic, relic and disappearing fauna, aged trees, examples of horticultural art, waterfalls, caves, lakes with unique genesis and morphology, original geological rock formations, the sites with paleonthological finding, other sites having great historical, cultural-educational significance and other picturesque places.
    There are 2083 trees with age over 100 years, 37 geological and paleonthological sites and over 15 thousand hectares of standard original, endemic and rare types and valuable forest areas. All these sites are under protection and the State Committee of Ecology issued passports for each natural monument, and local powers are providing their protection.
    Special care is given to forest areas and natural environments.
    There are 30 such protected sites including:

    Pisttachio grove in Barda district - unique botanic object of mesophilic forest formation with trees 370-450 years old

    Boxwood grove in Astara district is a representative of oldest Girkanian flora, relict grove of tertiary period. Very precious are 200-300 years old evergreen boxwood, Girkanian yew, other trees

    Eldar pine grove on the border with Georgia (Ellaroglu Ridge, branch of Geigol Reserve)

    Plane tree grove in Basutchai Reserve - the largest plane-tree formation in Basutchai River meadow

    Araz oak in Zangilan district is disappearing type and can be found only in forests at the shores of Araz River

    There are 37 geological(paleonthogical) natural monuments under state protection including:

    9 caves, including Azykh cave with Neolithic settlement of prehistoric man and rock paintings

    Unique geological formations like Mount of Baku storey with classical cuts of lower anthropogenic deposits 70 meters thick - 400-600m. deep and consisting of marble originated by limestone metamorphoses

    4 mud volcanoes: Lokbatan with maximal number of registered irruption (20), is situated at the altitude of 130m above the sea and differs from other volcanoes by absence of griphon stage. It is one of most interesting bastion-shaped volcanoes of Gobustan is situated at the southwest projection of Alyat Ridge border of Kur lowlands, as well as peculiar mud Kyanizadaq and Dashqil volcanoes of Gobustan

    Afurjin waterfall at Velvelichai River where water falls vertically from the height of 60 meters

    Paleonthologic objects like Binagadin asphalt lake is a site of quartentiary flora and fauna thanks to their diversity and good preservation belongs to richest deposits of the world. There are 243 types of fossil flora and fauna - huge collection of remains of sea animals, whales, sea turtles, fish, insects and plants belonging to Maikop deposits and presented by clay soil, shale, etc.


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