Khazar nature reserve – a real bird’s paradise

Khazar nature reserve – a real bird’s paradise

There is in Turkmenistan an absolutely unusual corner of land – along the Caspian Sea the Khazar state natural reserve stretches. Here nature has created a miracle – broken between huge ridges of the Kopet Dagh and Elbrus the rivers abounding in water give moisture to huge seaside invariance.

In the reservoirs near the seaside the settlement of Esenguly long since nests unique kinds of birds – gallinule, stifftail, francolin, dark blue wader. Other birds arrive here to stay for winter – pelicans, swans, and flamingo.

The reserve was based on these lakes and in the river Etrek delta in 1932.

It was renamed several times. In 1968 the reserve territory was expanded and was named the All-Union Krasnovodsk ornithological reserve, and today it bears the name Khazar state natural reserve. Once being ornithological, now the reserved natural zone consists also of mammals, amphibious, plants, mushrooms.

It is not surprising that birds arrive here for winter. After all the climate of Turkmenistan, it’s especially seaside part, for birds are magnificent – non-freezing waters, heat, and abundance of food. They arrive from Yenisei, Northern Dvina, from extensive territories of Siberia. More than 160 kinds of birds of passage winter in this reserve. In autumn the Khazar reserve receives infinite flocks of feathery and sees off them only in spring.

Certainly, hunting here is forbidden. Fox, cane cat, jackal easily find there their livelihood. And, of course, they are also protected.

The Khazar nature reserve – a paradise for ornithologists: research assistants study features of birds of passage. Reed, sedge, tamarisk grow here much, birds nest, fish, and scientists observe all it. Sometimes in the nature reserve it is possible to count several thousands of the finest birds – pink flamingos.

Mahri YAGMUROVA

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