This year the Turkmen coastline of the Caspian Sea has hosted a record number of wintering birds. According to the international ornithological expedition, more than 207,000 birds have flown there since the fall. Pink flamingos, listed in the so-called Red Book of endangered species, are the emblem of Turkmenistan's Khazar State Nature Reserve. Scientists at the reserve counted 30,392 of these migratory birds in total. Turkmen ornithologist A.A. Shcherbina commented that "this is an official record, both according to recorded data and observations in our sector of the sea, which I have been engaged in since 1971." In Latin flamingo means fire or flame. This species is most commonly found in Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, the Caucasus, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean. In Central Asia there is a red-winged species of flamingo, which is usually called 'pink'. Nomadic peoples across Asia believe that seeing one will make them happy. Scientists carefully study, photograph and keep records of all coastal animal species of the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea. Specialists have noted that in the past years, endangered flamingos preferred to spend their winters in Iran. The current relocation of the birds, it seems, is caused by favorable changes in the water of the Caspian Sea and its coastline. Thanks to the efforts of staff from the Khazar reserve, natural conditions for nesting are improving on the Turkmen coast -- and the food base for protected birds is growing. According to their calculations, there are 50,000 more migratory birds this season than last season. The reserve, founded in 1934, took its name from the ancient name of the Caspian Sea -- Khazar. Most of the reserve's 270,000 hectares fall on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
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The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its international partners have launched the One Health Central Asia project, aiming to mitigate the risk of zoonoses – diseases that are naturally transmissible from animals to humans – in Central Asia. The new initiative was announced on February 13th at the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The risk of zoonotic diseases in Central Asia is exacerbated by biodiversity loss and changes in human-wildlife interactions. As part of the new initiative, IUCN and national and international partners, including all five Central Asian countries, will implement actions to prevent the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases, IUCN reported on its website. The experts will work to consolidate a fair and effective regional network of protected and conserved areas, strengthen conservation measures and wildlife management for disease risk mitigation, and promote the latest advancements in zoonosis research and technology. Speaking at the launch ceremony, IUCN’s director general, Dr Grethel Aguilar, said that nature conservation can contribute to mitigating the risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks, and this important new initiative will strengthen the resilience of Central Asian landscapes, bringing numerous benefits to communities. “We will continue to support the governments here to build regional capacity to apply IUCN's tools and standards, including the IUCN Green List, best practices in species management, and the latest advancements in zoonosis research.” Aziz Abdukhakimov, the minister of ecology, environmental protection, and climate change of Uzbekistan, commented that: “Over the past few years we have observed how the spread of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 can have a global impact. This has resulted in entire countries being demobilized, transportation connections being disrupted, an increase in food security issues, and massive socio-economic consequences. We are committed to expanding regional cooperation for sustainable management of protected natural areas, preserving unique biological diversity, and contributing to the environmental balance in the Central Asian region, which will receive a significant boost through this project on One Health in nature conservation.” Supported by a €11m contribution from the German Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection via the International Climate Initiative, this major regional initiative will spearhead the One Health approach in Central Asia over the next six years. The initiative, entitled Enhancing landscape resilience to zoonotic disease emergence by consolidating nature conservation systems in Central Asia, will focus on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. "Obstacles to migration reduce the habitat available to migratory species. This phenomenon has been observed across Central Asia with species such as the Saiga, Wild Ass, and even those with relatively small ranges, like the Bukhara Deer,” said Amy Fraenkel, the executive secretary of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), one of the international partners of the One Health Central Asia initiative. “In the diminished and fragmented habitats, migratory species of wild animals often find themselves in contact and competition with livestock for pasture and water...
The shooting of saiga antelopes has resumed in Kazakhstan, which has angered many in the country, including residents of a village in the central Ulytau region, Kyzylzhar. According to the Interior Ministry, on January 10 a group of Kyzylzhar residents deliberately prevented hunters from a company called Okhotzooprom from shooting the saigas. The persons were arrested and are currently in custody. According to local ecologist Almasbek Sadyrbayev, the female saigas were carrying calves. The local authorities have pointed out that the saiga shootings were carried out lawfully, and that the villagers used physical force against Okhotzooprom staff. Andrei Kim, deputy chairman of the Ministry of Ecology’s forestry and wildlife committee, confirmed at a press conference that the moratorium on saiga shooting in Kazakhstan, in force until 2024, will not be extended. However, saigas have been introduced to western Kazakhstan as part of a program to regulate their population. Commercial hunting will continue until February 29.
Two forest nurseries have been created in Turkmenistan's Kopetdag State Reserve. One of the nurseries, two hectares in size, is located in the Kopetdag Mountains; the other, smaller site is in the Gyavers oasis area near the Karakum desert. The trees were planted as part of a joint ecology project between the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization and the Turkmen Ministry of Environment. The young forests will eventually contribute to restoring Turkmenistan's forest resources, which is an important part of the country's efforts to make its industrial sectors more sustainable. Forest nurseries grow and breed saplings and trees, as well as forest plants. The nurseries in Kopetdag and by the Karakum will also house nut and berry orchards, where pistachio, almond, hawthorn, blackberry, and cherry trees will be grown. Expanding forested areas in mountainous parts of Turkmenistan is an effective way to reduce the impact of water erosion and prevent dangerous mudflows. It is also an important step in conserving biodiversity and preserving unique ecosystems. Forest nurseries additionally contribute to improving yields from agricultural pastures, which in turn improves the welfare of local farmers.
ASTANA (TCA) — The Ile-Balkhash State Nature Reserve has been created by Kazakh Government Decree issued on 27 June 2018. The area of the new reserve is 415,164 hectares and it is located in Almaty Region’s Balkhash District. Continue reading
ASTANA (TCA) — 2.5 million hectares of forest landscape will be restored by countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia under the Bonn Challenge by 2030. The commitment was made by Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan at the first Ministerial Roundtable on Forest Landscape Restoration and the Bonn Challenge in the Caucasus and Central Asia, held on 21-22 June in Astana, Kazakhstan. The meeting also adopted the Astana Resolution, committing the region to go beyond 2.5 million ha, and strengthen partnerships and regional cooperation to this end. Continue reading