wildlife found in Kyrgyzstan is also rich and diverse. Over the
territory of Kyrgyzstan one can find animal life typical of deserts and
forests, valleys and mountains, steppes and meadows.
There are about 500 different species of
vertebrates and over 3000 species of insects which have been
catalogued, including 60 species of dragon-fly, 86 species of
butterfly, 86 species of ants, 33 species of bees, and 250 species of
cicadas. Some of these insects have a detrimental effect - for example
adding to the denudation of the forest reserves.
of 49 different species of fish can be found in the waters of
Kyrgyzstan's lakes and reservoirs. (The number of species varies
according to the authorities quoted - a book published in 2004 put the
figure at 54 species - 38 of which were considered indigenous and 16
introduced). In Lake Issyk-Kul there are chebachok, chebak, sazan,
carp, trout, marinka, osman, bream, line, pike-perch, sig, and crucian.
In the various reservoirs and rivers: sazan, crucian, barbel, pike,
marinka and other species of fish. Trout can be found in mountain
There are 25 species of reptiles including
tortoises, lizards, and snakes.
Ornithologists can spot a wide variety of
bird-life which includes some 335 species. In different areas of the
country one can encounter pheasant, grey herons, the "cherry bird",
woodpecker, eagle-owl, silvered sea-gull, red-wing flamingo amongst
others. On Lake Issyk-Kul you can meet "hissing" swans, "crying" swans,
grey geese, and pelicans. It is estimated that between 60 to 70
thousand migratory birds can be found here during the winter. Amongst
the rare species of birds it is possible to see in Kyrgyzstan are
"balaban", white stork, golden eagle, bearded vulture, bustard,
demoiselle crane, "snake eater", white-tail sea eagle, steppe eagle,
black stork. Cranes congregate at Son Kul and Chartyr Kul on their
are represented by 83 different species, including Mountain Sheep
(arkhar), bears, and "maral" in the spruce forests of the Tien-Shan and
in the Ak-Sai, Arpa, and Suusamyr high mountain valleys. The mountain
ridges and valleys provide homes for foxes, wolves, badger, weasel,
ermine, and stone martens. In some regions it is also possible to find
snow leopard (Bars), wild boar, roe deer, Siberian goat, porcupine,
hedgehog, hare, marmot, and "andatrum".
A number of books have published as a direct
result of the TACIS West Tien Shan Biodiversity Project (with text in
both English and Russian) which give a lot of information about the
range and variety of the different wildlife to be found in the country:
"Looking at Birds in the Kyrgyz Republic", "Looking at Fishes in
Kyrgyzia" and "Looking at Mammals in Kyrgyzia".
One of the observations in the book on mammals is
that although the diversity of wildlife is very great, much of it is
restricted to more remote regions, is naturally "shy" of man, and/or is
nocturnal, so it can be difficult to guarantee exactly what wildlife
you will actually get to see.