Nature Reserves of Uzbekistan
Zaamin Mountainous Forest (Juniper) Reserve

The Juniper (founded in 1926) is in the Djizak region in the western part of the Turkestan Ridge. Its area is 10,500 ha.

The sides of the mountains are covered with juniper forests and alpine meadows. The highest mountain point is 3500 meters above sea level.

Such animals as wild boars, wolves, foxes, porcupines, badgers, and hares inhabit the area. There are bears and lynxes in the forest juniper belt. The subalpine zone is inhabited by more than 350 wild mountain goats. There are plenty of birds in the juniper zone: stone grouse, rose starlings, larks, kestrels, magpies, and thrushes. But the most characteristic bird is the juniper grosbeak. Birds of prey are represented by the sparrow-hawk, the golden eagle, the white-headed griffin, and the bearded vulture. The black stork nests in the Chantanga Gorge.

There are over 700 species of plants under protection in the reserve.

Chatkal Mountainous Forest Reserve

The Chatkal Mountain Forest Reserve (founded in 1947) is on the spurs of the Chatkal Ridge of the western part of the Tian-Shan Mountains. Its area is 35,000 ha. Divided by gorges, the mountains of the reserve reach more than 3,500 meters above sea level.

There are about 600 species of grasses and about 40 species of shrubs in the reserve. A considerable part of the slopes is covered with natural juniper forests and various shrubs. There are birch groves along the river banks. Sea buckthorn, walnut trees, rowan trees, stone trees, pistachio trees, and a large number of other species, which are endemic to the area of the west Tian-Shan Mountains, grow in the reserve.

Of the animals, there are wild mountain goats, bears, wild boars, foxes, and marmots. The snow leopard can be found high in the mountains. Birds are represented by the stone grouse and the partridge. The area of Bashkizylsai is notable for its rock paintings and petroglyphs depicting wild animals being hunted by primitive men.

Nurata Mountainous Nut and Fruit Nature Reserve

Gissar State Reserve

Established in 1983. Its area is 80,986.1 hectares, of which 12,203 ha are forested, 27,450 ha consist of meadows, and 171 are made up of reservoirs. There are 870 species of plants and about 140 species of animals inhabiting its territory. The staff of the reserve equals 56 employees, of whom 35 are state inspection staff and 8 scientific employees.

Gissar is located in the Kashkadarya area, among the western spurs of the Gissar ridge. The objective is to save the natural complexes and ecosystems of the Gissar ridge.

Surkhan State Reserve

Consists of two independent sites:
1. Aral-Paigambar (at the moment its activity is frozen because of complex political conditions), organized in 1971, is typical of the valley-tugai ecosystems of the Amu-Darya River. Its area is 3,093 hectares, 964 of which are forested. The reserve was created to save the unique tugai ecosystem, with its characteristic fauna.

The reserve is inhabited by the Bukhara deer included in the international Red Book, the wild boar, the reed cat, the Iranian otter, and others. Of birds there are Tadjik pheasants, grey geese, Turkestan nightingale, blackbirds, Indian starlings, and others.

2. Kugitanskiy - established in 1987, covering mountain and forest ecosystems. Area: 24,583 hectares. Typical of the mountain ecosystems of the Kugitang ridge. On the site more than 800 species of plants, about 290 species of birds, and more than 20 species of animals have been sighted. Under special protection are the Spiral Horned Goat or Markhur (280 head), mountain sheep (36 head) and other rare species. Protection staff: 25 inspectors.

Most of the reserve is in the Surkhan-Darya area and is typical of the natural environments of southern Uzbekistan.

Kyzyl-kum State Reserve

Established in 1971 in the Bukhara area. The area of reserve is 10,141 hectares, of which 6,964 hectares are sand and 3,177 are in the Amu-Darya's flood plain. Special attention should be paid to the Bukharan Deer - the number of which has grown from 20 head in 1971 to 200 head today. Staff: 10 inspectors.

Baday-Tugai State Reserve

Established in 1971 in the Republic of Karakalpakistan. Area: 6,462 hectares. Located downstream on the right bank of the Amu-Darya River, on the territory of the Beruni and Kegelli districts. The reserve was created with the purpose of saving the tugai forest and fauna under the conditions of the regulated flow of the Amu-Darya River. Tugai forests comprise over 70% of its area.

Fauna is represented by: more than 91 species of birds, 15 species of mammals, and 15 species of fish. In 1975, 3 head of rare Bukhara deer were brought to the reserve, and by 1995 their number had reached 18, of which 6 in 1996 were moved to the Zerafshan reserve. Some species of exotic animals such as hyenas, wild sheep, bald badger, porcupine and some rare birds like the Egyptian vulture and white headed owl can be found here.

Zerafshan State Reserve

Established in 1975 in the Samarkand region. Area: 2,352 hectares, 868 of them forested, 725 un-forested. The Reserve is a narrow strip stretching along the Zerafshan River as far as 45 km.

The objective of the reserve is the protection and restoration of the tugai ecosystem, and in particular the salvation of sea buckthorn and the population of rare subspecies of Zerafshan pheasant, the number of which in 1995 has reached 4,000. Protection staff: 8 inspectors.

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