RESERVES OF TURKMENISTAN - KEEPERS OF BIODIVERSITY
Various types of natural ecosystems with unique species of flora and fauna are represented on the territory of Turkmenistan. To protect the natural resources of the country, especially the "Red Book" and edemic species, nine state reserves have been created, within which numerous reserves function.
The oldest of them is the Repetek State Reserve in the South-Eastern Karakum Desert in the Lebap velayat of Turkmenistan, created in 1927 at the scientific sand-desert station that existed here since 1912. In 1979, it received the international status of a "biosphere" reserve. This is the hottest place in Turkmenistan, home to a number of rare “Red Data Book” fauna species characteristic of the sandy deserts of the subtropics and the temperate zone. The reserve also protects the unique thickets of black saxaul - a kind of saxaul "forests" and a number of rare plant species.
The youngest state natural reserve of Turkmenistan - "Bereketli Garagum" (Fertile Karakum), located in the northern part of the Akhal velayat of Turkmenistan, was created in 2013 in order to further improve activities to protect the unique ecosystem and natural resources of the Karakum Desert. On the territory of the reserve and its reserve there are more than 1000 species of animals and 293 species of flora grow, among which there are many endemics and those in need of strict protection of the "Red Book" species.
This year, ecologists of Turkmenistan celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Koytendag reserve, located in the etrap of the same name in the Lebap velayat. The wildlife world of the reserve comprises almost 990 species of flora and more than 180 species of animals. The protected area of the reserve includes the habitat of the Red Book animals, as well as the location of karst caves and other well-known unique natural objects of Koytendag. The local mountains are the highest in the country, are the western spur of the Gissar ridge of the Pamir-Alai system and are listed as a special geobotanical zone.
Each of the reserves of Turkmenistan is unique in its own way, but the Badkhyz reserve, located in the Mary velayat in the south of Turkmenistan, is distinguished by its peculiar natural complex, which has no equal on the territory of Central Asia. It has long attracted the attention of scientists - geographers, soil scientists, botanists and zoologists who conducted their research here, and is on the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The reserves of Turkmenistan are a kind of natural laboratories engaged in the development of scientific foundations for the protection of nature and its biodiversity, the study and preservation of the genetic fund of flora and fauna. They have nurseries that help in organizing reforestation activities in their region.
As reported in August last year with reference to the regional bureau of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the Badkhyz Reserve and the Repetek State Biosphere Reserve of Turkmenistan may soon become UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites.