top of page

Wildlife of Central Asia that we can lose

The wildlife of Central Asia is diverse and unique. Its representatives have adapted to different climatic conditions - from the hot summer of the deserts to severe winters of the mountains. Central Asia occupying more than 2.5 million km2 inhabits about 800 species of vertebrates, more than half of which are birds nesting mainly in deltas of rivers and along the shores of lakes. In the reservoirs of Central Asia there are more than 100 different fish species and 9 amphibians. In deserts and desert territories there are many reptiles numbering 79 species. Mammals in Central Asia are represented by 153 species, distributed from hot deserts to the glaciers of the Pamirs and Tien Shan. Invertebrates in the fauna of Central Asia are represented by the richest variety of insects: arthropods, arachnids, butterflies and others.

Such a diversity of species of the animal world at first glance pleases. But if you analyze the changes in the wildlife that have occurred over the past half century the resulting picture will not cause much optimism. In connection with the active human activity in the development of mountains, deserts and river valleys, such species as the Turanian tiger, the Maral, the Red wolf disappeared from the face of Central Asia. On the verge of extinction are, and perhaps have already disappeared, the Persian leopard, the Bustard, the Striped hyena, the Screwhorn goat - the Marchur. Some of them are killed because of the beautiful fur, others because of branched horns, supposedly beneficial to health. They are killed as pests when they search for food come to a person's home. Some of these animals lose their habitual location due to people's economic activities. Even the golden eagle, a bird that has become a symbol of almost all Central Asian countries, has fallen into the Red Book. It's hard to believe - from the mid-80's the golden eagle is in the category "Rare Bird with a decreasing number".

In our scientific and technical age, the problem of wildlife conservation is especially important. The person now has powerful levers of influence on a living nature. On the one hand, an uncontrolled increase in industrial production negatively affects all natural components; on the other hand, a scientific approach to the conservation of nature can save the situation if it is implemented at the proper level.

To preserve the flora and fauna in the territory of Central Asia protected areas have been created: nature reserves, national parks, specialized nurseries. Regional "Red Books" have been established in the republics of Central Asia. Legislative protection of rare species of animals and plants is covered by the Red Book that has become a kind of alarm signal about the danger that threatens this or that species. Various legislative acts have also been adopted - "Laws on Nature Protection". But still the most important in the conservation of natural components is a single person. Each of us is able to carefully and thoughtfully treat the living nature, teach our children with love and trepidation to treat every small representative of flora and fauna. Protection and restoration of rare and endangered species should always be considered as one of the most important problems.

The richness of the species composition of the fauna of Central Asia is primarily due to the geographic location of the region. Here species of animals from the North, India and Africa, have penetrated. Natural, climatic conditions, diversity of relief also influenced the diversity of the wildlife world. Each specific region has certain, often unique representatives of fauna.

In the mountains there are animals typical to northern regions, for example, a bear and an ermine. Although there are also well-adapted species: Snow leopard, Siberian mountain goat, Mountain sheep, Mensbir marmot, Turkestan gecko, Rocky nuthatch. In sandy and clay deserts, you can meet people from tropical countries - a Gray lizard (got here from Africa), Jackal, Hyena, Lane, Longtail flytrap from India.

Pallas's cat

The most unusual cat of wild steppes with a broad but fragmented distribution in the grasslands and mountain steppes of Central Asia. It is negatively affected by habitat degradation, prey base decline, and hunting, and has therefore been classified as Near Threatened by IUCN since 2002. Pallas's cats are native to the steppe regions of Central Asia, where they inhabit elevations of up to 5,050 m in the Tibetan Plateau. They also inhabit some parts of Afghanistan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan, and occur across much of western China. The exact number of Manuls is not defined, but one thing is clear: it is on the verge of extinction.

Saiga antelope

The saiga antelope is a critically endangered antelope that originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. The saiga antelope is a major player in one of the most spectacular animal migrations. It faces an uncertain future due to hunting and loss of habitat. A distinctive bulbous nose makes the saiga an unlikely pin-up for the conservation movement. Habitat loss and illegal hunting have dramatically cut population numbers. The fall in saiga antelope populations has been dramatic. In the early 1990s numbers were over a million, but are now estimated to be around 50,000. Kazakhstan in November 2010 reaffirmed a ban on hunting saiga antelopes, and extended this ban until 2021, as the Central Asian nation seeks to save the endangered species. Saiga antelope has long, thin legs but is similar in size to a sheep. Saiga has a flexible and inflatable nose that helps to breathe clean air during dusty summers and warm air during cold winters

Saiga antelope

Snow leopards

Known throughout the world for its beautiful fur and elusive behavior, the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is found in the rugged mountains of Central Asia.