Discovery Kyrgyzstan
 
Discovery Kyrgyzstan travel guide #10/2008
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Wildlife

The 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.
Stocks of about 50 different species of fish can be found in the waters of Kyrgyzstan’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs. 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 rivers.
There are 25 species of reptiles including tortoises, lizards, and snakes, (some of the snakes are poisonous).
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 and 70 thousand migratory birds can be found here during the winter.  Amongst the rare species of birds it is possible to see in Kyrgyzstan there 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 Chatyr Kul on the migratory journeys.
Mammals 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 highly 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, “andatrum”.
Unfortunately, a large number of species are very rare or endangered.  The “Red Data Book of Kyrgyzstan” lists som 209 species: 26 mammals, 53 birds, 10 reptiles and amphibians, 7 fish. 18 insects and 30 plant species in these categories.  This represents an increase of 102 species since the list was first compiled twenty over years ago, in 1985.   Amongst the most famous of the endangered species are the Snow Leopard and the Argali, (or Marco Polo Sheep).
It also has to be admitted, however, that although the diversity of wildlife is very great, a lot of it is restricted to more remote regions, is naturally “shy” of man and/or nocturnal, so it can be difficult to guarantee exactly what wildlife the visitor will actually get to see.

Discovery Kyrgyzstan
Travel guide#10/2008

Discovery Kyrgyzstan Travel guide #10/2008

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