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Azerbaijan's endangered species protection policy bearing fruits

25 January 2017 15:40 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's endangered species protection policy bearing fruits

By Nigar Eyvazova

Azerbaijan, which is committed to endangered species protection, has achieved a certain success in this area and recorded rise in number of several rare and endangered species.

Elman Yusifov, Director of the Zoology Institute at the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences, said that over the past two decades the number of rare and endangered species living in the country increased twofold. He is sure that the trend will continue in the future.

Azerbaijan is an incredibly beautiful area of unique natural contrasts, while 9 of 11 main climatic types of the Earth, from subtropics to alpine meadows, exists here.

There is the splendid flora of humid sub-tropics and everlasting snow and glaciers of Shahdagh and Murovdagh, Gabala forests, full of spring flavors, and hot steppes of Mil, Mugan, and Shirvan, and mist and rains over tea and citrus plantations in the foothills of the Talish Mountain Range and warm “Moryana” (a shore-to-sea breeze) and the Absheron Peninsula`s gusty “Khazri” (the Caspian north wind), all neighboring each other.

The country’s fauna is notable for the same richness and variety: about 12,000 species populate the country. Beautiful gazelles, wild boars, wolves, foxes, hares, coypu rats, pheasants, ducks, bald-coots, and Sultan chickens inhabit the area. Deer, roe deer, wild boars, brown Caucasian bears, lynxes, wolves and, somewhere, leopards are typical for lowland and midland.

Yusifov went on to say that the country is home to 10 species of amphibian fauna, 54 species of reptiles, 400 species of birds, 110 species of mammals, 20,000 species of insects, 100 species of fishes.

More than 38 percent of mammals, 17 birds, 10 percent of the fishes are in front of the list of rare and endangered animals.

Overall, the latest edition of Azerbaijan’s "Red Book" includes about 223 representatives of the rich fauna, including one species of round worms, crustaceans and molluscs, 74 species of insects, 6 amphibians, 14 species of reptiles, 9 fish species, 72 species of birds and 42 mammals. Overall, Azerbaijani fauna includes 10,000-12,000 species.

Yusifov said that correctly the institute is preparing a new list of rare and endangered animals.

Following the nature-protection policy, the government has created a number of natural preserves for the past years and brought into effect the hunting rules for protection of the rare animals of Azerbaijan.

He also mentioned that, reduction of insects in nature is not good process in general, because the insects are playing a very important role in the nature. “Insects improve the quality of soil, increase the influence of oxygen and increase productivity. Without them, the productivity of agriculture is not possible,” he clarified.

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