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Sunday, 21 January 2007
The Real Beauty of Turkmen mountains
Topic: Environment & ecology
Golden eagle is a real beauty of the Turkmen mountains and deserts. These eagles stately hover over the expanses of the Karakum Desert, riparian forests of the Amudarya and the Kopetdag and Koytendag Mountains. They can be seen also in the shore of the Caspian Sea.

The bird can easily be referred to large feathered birds. Its look symbolises power and strength: in length golden eagle is almost a metre, its weight is about 7-9 kg, and its wingspan is 2 metres. What is notable is that female birds are larger than male ones. Its claws are larger than those of other eagles. On its back golden eagle has dark brown feathering and on its belly red-brown. A quite big “hat” on its head formed of lengthy golden-yellow feathers make it different from other eagles.

Golden eagle does not like long flights. It tries to stay close to its nest. The birds prefer to nest in the mountains, rarely in the desert. Thus, in south-west Kopetdag golden eagles appeared in different biotopes: foothills, central part of the Sumbar-Chendyrsk zone. However, the predators prefer rocky ledges in gorges and middle belt of the mountains located 10-20 m over the land surface and higher for nesting. During this period, in the Kopetdag Mountains birds keep to the nesting place at the tops of the mountains 2,000 metres higher than the sea level. During cold time and non-breeding season, the birds migrate in their search of best settling areas.

Golden eagle is the most energetic and powerful predator, therefore it hunts average-size mammals. However, despite belief, it is beyond its power to take away a sheep – it is too small for this.

Golden eagle hunts in pairs. Their families have strong ties – male and female birds live together for years. Golden eagle is one of the earliest nesting birds. They start nesting in February or beginning of March and sometimes in January. The birds are tied to their old nests and try to stay on forever. Nests (usually a family might have up to four nests) are placed amidst cliffs, ruins, in haloxylon woods, trees and power transmission facilities. These huge constructions are made of heavy trunks of trees, their diameter is up to 1.5 metres and height is 0.5 metres. Inside such “birds’ house” can be covered with camel wool and reinforced with clay. In this or that nest they lay one (if birds are young), or two-three eggs. Brooding lasts about one month, and during additional 2-2.5 months, parents feed their nestlings.

Golden eagle comes of age at the age of two; however, only at its fourth or sixth year of life it forms a family. During draught, when the number of mammals is quite small, golden eagle does not nest.

Science and life proved that predators are an important link in wildlife. They hunt primarily sick and weak animals, support number of rodents at necessary ecosystem level. Golden eagle is inscribed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan and other countries of the world.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 6:16 PM
The Turkmen Leopard
Topic: Environment & ecology

 Leopard is a decoration of Turkmen nature. Nowadays, in Turkmenistan the habitat of leopards is limited to the Kopetdag Mountains and Badkhyz. In the southwestern Kopetdag, the basins of the rivers Sumbar and Chandyr leopards inhabit the upper reaches of the large gorges grown with cloistered forests, with the scatterings of stones and precipices. Their traces can be often seen in the places with the good field of view (ridges and their crests), on the floor and in the upper terraces of gorges. Mostly, leopards keep to the places inhabited with ungulates.

The leopard is a big cat, often 130-180 cm long, and weights up to 70 kg. It has a lissome, slim body with a long tail (95-116 cm) and a relatively small round head. Its ears are short, widely placed and round on the top. The body is strong and brawny with the strong forepaws. The fur is short and closely fitting. Their pelage tends to vary from grey and ochre to bright reddish and foxy in colour with black and brown spots. The pelage on the belly and backside of extremities is almost white.

Leopards lead a solitary way of life almost all year round, and the animals mate only during the period of reproduction. Leopards can have cubs at the age of 2-3. A female, as usual, gives birth to a litter of 2-3 cubs in spring. Cubs may remain with their mother for 12-15 months.

Adults are more active at night, mainly. They take advantage of the compound relief and are famous for their ability to go undetected, avoiding meetings with people. Though leopards move along the foot and horse paths, and sometimes their routes are laid nearby the settlements, they are difficult to notice. Females with cubs are especially careful, usually they move along the steep slopes. An adult female makes a den in the place most difficult of access and rarely visited by people and uses it over many years. Young leopards, which have just started their adult life, are less careful. While examining their section of the natural habitat they can be seen at any time of day and appear near the settlements, field sites during daytime.

Leopards hunt wild ungulates – argali, pasans, rarely wild boars, gazelles and porcupines. From time to time they hunt foxes, jackals, wolves, badgers and wall-creepers.

Persian leopard is inscribed on the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan and the World Conservation Union and under the protection of the state. To hunt this rare predator has been prohibited since 1969. Leopards are protected in the Badkhyz, the Kopetdag and the Syunt-Khasardag National Reserve.

Mainly, leopards hunt sick or weak animals which are little adapted to the severe conditions of the arid mountains, unable to give a strong posterity. Science proved that predators are of critical importance for nature performing the role of “sanitarians”. Thus, undoubtedly, leopards, beautiful and noble predators, should adorn Turkmen nature in future.


Posted by countryturkmenistan at 6:13 PM
Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007 6:23 PM
Monday, 11 December 2006
No AIDS in Turkmenistan
Topic: Health, Education, Social

1 December 2006. Turkmenistan, along with the whole world community,  marked the World AIDS Day declared in 1988 with the aim of attracting attention to humankind's major problem. This year, it was marked with a slogan "Stop AIDS. Keep the promise. "A great number of outreach activities, educational events, contests, meetings and seminars held today with the participation of young people throughout the country were devoted to combating and preventing HIV/AIDS. The events were attended by officials from health and power-wielding agencies coordinating work with risk group people.


According to statistics, Turkmenistan remains one of the few countries of the world in which AIDS spread risk rate is almost equal to zero. The fact that there is almost no HIV sufferers in Turkmenistan is, in a sense, a unique achievement, which has been scored thanks to wide-scale preventive work carried out in the country at the initiative of President Saparmyrat Niyazov]. This gives a strong impetus to further development of joint programmes and projects in this area.

The national Turkmen AIDS/HIV prevention programme adopted in September 1999 and the law "On the prevention of diseases caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)", which require a precise state policy in this direction, clearly demonstrate the significance being attached by the government to preventing AIDS and sexually- transmitted diseases. In this regard, it is necessary to note that the local authorities, state and health agencies, NGOs and international organizations are closely collaborating and conducting active outreach work everywhere in order to step up moral and sexual education among people.

"Neytralniy Turkmenistan" newspaper

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 3:32 PM
Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007 6:32 PM
Monday, 4 December 2006
Nature Reserves of Turkmenistan
Topic: Environment & ecology

The Amudarya nature reserve  includes the ecosystems of tugai forests in the Amudarya River valley and adjoining desert areas. This nature reserve provides habitats for 48 species and subspecies of mammals, and 203 species and subspecies of birds. Here 1,040 species of higher plants grow. Among vertebrate animals there are rare species, such as the Central Asian gazelle, Bukhara deer, ratel, otter, marble teal, osprey and others. Among fish species, there are greater and lesser Amudarya false shovelnose sturgeons, and pike chub. The Amudarya nature reserve manages the Kelif natural preserve that incorporates lake ecosystems in South-East Turkmenistan and is a favorable place for the wintering of migratory and aquatic birds.

The Badkhyz nature reserve , and the Badkhyz region proper, include ecosystems of hilly plateaus at the piedmont of the Paropamiz, the northernmost range of the Hindukush. The territory of the nature reserve supports 40 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 34 species of reptiles. Among them are the Central Asian gazelle, Turkmen mountain sheep, onager, striped hyena, caracal, leopard, short-toed eagle, golden eagle, and others.
he vegetation in Badkhyz includes 1,050 varieties of vascular plants (442 genera and 76 families) of which more than 75 species and subspecies are endemic. The nature reserve incorporates 3 natural preserves (all established in 1956):
hemenibit (floodplain-river, the summer drinking place for onagers);
yzyldjar (piedmont, the drinking place for mammals and birds);
Pulikhatum (piedmont, the drinking place for mammals and birds).

The Kopetdag nature reserve   was set up for the conservation and integrated study of the mountain forest ecosystems. The protected territory spreads over high and medium mountains of the Central Kopetdag, i.e. between meridians crossing the Archman railway station in the west, and the Gyaurs station in the east. The nature reserve provides habitats for 68 species of mammals and 280 species of birds. More than 960 species of plants grow here. The nature reserve incorporates two natural preserves established in 1976: Kalininsk (mountains), and Meana-Chaacha (piedmont).

The larger territory of the Kaplankyr nature reserve  is occupied by the Kaplankyr clay plateau-like upland, the southern spur of the Ustyurt Plateau. According to the botanical geography, the protected territory lies at the junction of northern and southern deserts. Here are found 26 species of mammals, 147 species of birds, and 918 species of higher plants. Protected here are rare species of animals, such as the Central Asian gazelle, the Ustuyrt mountain sheep, ratel, etc.; among higher plants – the Khiva thistle, Turkmen tulip, Antonia’s gypsophila, Karelin sand acacia, and other 55 endemic species. In addition, enormous populations of saiga antelopes that migrate here from Karakalpakstan in the winter are also protected in the nature reserve. The Kaplankyr nature reserve incorporates two natural preserves: Sarykamysh (established in 1980; lake-coastal ecosystems) and Shakhsenem (established in 1984; stony desert).

The main directions of activity in the Kugitang nature reserve  are the conservation and restoration of the mountain ecosystems in the Southern Pamir-Alai. The Kugitangtau range forms the border between the Mountain-Central Asian and Iranian biogeographic provinces, and is characterized by specific physiographical conditions and the original flora and fauna. 22 species of mammals and 80 species of birds were registered in the nature reserve. About 1,000 species of higher plants, among which 40 are endemic, have been found in the nature reserve. The Kugitang nature reserve incorporates 3 natural preserves (all established in 1986):
arlyuk (karst; protection of unique subsurface caves, the world’s only population of the Kugitang blind char);
hodjapil (mountain forest; conservation of Zarafshan juniper, “Dinosaurs Plateau”, screw-horned mountain goat, and others);
Khodja-Burdji-Belend (mountain forest; protection of pistachio areas).

The Karakum Desert occupies the area of about 35 million ha, or more than 80% of the whole territory of Turkmenistan. According to its geological and natural conditions, the Karakum can be divided into three large parts: Northern or Zaunguz, Central or Lowland, and South-Eastern Karakum. The latter incorporates the Repetek State Biosphere Reserve  where 20 species of mammals and 23 species of birds live. The total flora of higher plants growing here includes 269 species belonging to 206 genera and 84 families. Of 132 species of aboriginal plants in the Repetek nature reserve 42 species (31.8%) are endemic for the Karakum and Kyzylkum deserts.

The Syunt-Khasardag nature reserve includes ecosystems of the Western Kopetdag mountains (dry subtropics) and neighboring plains. Here, 37 species of mammals and 217 species of birds are found. Flora of the Western Kopetdag includes 1,266 species of higher plants, which belong to 233 genera and 500 families; among these, 150 species are endemic. The nature reserve incorporates one mountain natural preserve, the Syunt-Khasardag (established in 1990). It is separated from the Central part of the nature reserve in order to improve social and economic conditions of the population in the Garrygala etrap (district).

The desert ecosystems, dry subtropics, and marine shallow bays in the southeastern coast of the Caspian are included into the Khazar nature reserve. It consists of two parts, Essenguly and Krasnovodsk. It was set up in 1968 on an area of 192,300 ha. This nature reserve is included in the list of aquatic and wetland habitats of the international significance that are under protection of the Ramsar International Convention. The Khazar nature reserve provides the habitat for 18 species of mammals and 372 species of birds. Of the bird fauna, nearly a half is waterfowl and near-water birds, which is a specific feature of the Khazar nature reserve (more than 85% of its territory covers the water areas, bays, and sea).

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 12:18 PM
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006 12:38 PM
Tuesday, 21 November 2006
Ancient Turkmenistan - New Centre of World Civilization
Topic: Turkmen History

The excavations in Margiana will make reconsider views on the remote past of humankind and fully reveal a real picture of the remote past of the remarkable Turkmen land located in the centre of Asia, on the crossroads of the ancient caravan routes and modern transcontinental communication lines. The participants of the International Scientific Conference “Ancient Margiana – a New Centre of the World Civilisation” held in the Mary Velayat and that completed its work have come to such conclusion.

The third, last, day of the conference was dedicated to the scientific discussion of the role and place of the outstanding archaeological monument of the Bronze Age, Ancient Margiana in the history of the world civilisation. Bright impressions of the scientists received after their visit to the excavations and of the report of the Archaeology Professor V.I. Sarianidi as well as his comments on the video film dedicated to the sensational archaeological finds of the Margianian expedition attached especially emotional character to the discussion. Telling in detail about those finds each of which is a unique one, V.I. Sarianidi especially stressed the results of the archaeological investigations made during recent three years. Those finds, including a cylindrical seal with a cuneiform Sumerian inscription, leave no doubts that in the late third millennium - first half of the second millennium B.C. the country of Margush was not an isolated oasis but it was in the centre of international relations and had a highly developed civilisation. According to the scientists, the Turkmen land still keeps many secrets about which we do not guess. That is why each new find does not only answer the questions but also put new ones thus stipulating further investigation.

Highly appreciating the work of the Margianian expedition and the investigation of Professor V.I. Sarianidi, the scientists expressed their unanimous opinion that the present meeting which gathered leading world historians and archaeologists in the hospitable Turkmen land will make it possible to stir up their joint investigation whose aim is to reconstruct the gaps in the ancient history one of whose secrets is a legendary country of Margush. But at present, according to Professor of the Cambridge University Colin Refrew, Ancient Margiana can be undoubtedly put among the ancient world civilisations. This point of view of the famous scientist was listened to with a storm of applause of the participants and guests of the conference.

A starting point of the speeches, a thesis that numerous monumental palaces and temples of the country of Margush including the rich royal necropolis and the ancient articles of art, can testify to the existence of the centre of ancient science and culture absolutely unknown for science.

Stressing the necessity of further detailed investigation of the historical heritage of Margiana having many common features with the early known civilisations, with India and Mesopotamia in particular, the scientists expressed their belief of presence of written sources, search of which is the question of time.

According to the conference participants, everything they saw there made many of them change their point of view and hypothesis. “I completely changed my point of view. We saw not only high culture but new civilisation. There is no greater monument of the Bronze Age than Margiana”, said in her speech Academician Yelena Kuzmina.

“We saw unique samples of art and if we gather all the exhibits kept in the world museums, they will not make up we saw in Gonur. This is an achievement not only of the Turkmen people but of entire humankind as well.” These words were almost in all the speeches of the conference participants who approved the idea of holding an exhibition “Art of the Country of Margush” in a famous museum complex in Paris, Louvers. It was especially stressed that the entire world should see that unique exhibiting.

Summing up the three-day work all those present unanimously stressed that the present forum became a starting point for uniting the efforts in the process of restoration of the true history of humankind. They also stressed that further investigations of the civilisation of Margush promised to bring new sensational discoveries which would help to properly appreciate the place of Ancient Turkmenistan in the system of the first civilisations of our planet.

Expressing their deep gratitude to the government of Turkmenistan and personally to President Saparmurat Niyazov for the opportunity to visit the ancient Turkmen land and to see the great monument to the human genius with their own eyes the participants of the conference expressed their wish to continue and strengthen close scientific co-operation.

An official dinner was organised for the participants of the International Scientific Conference “Ancient Margiana – a New Centre of World Civilisation” on behalf of the head of the Turkmen state.

On the same day the participants of the forum came back to the Turkmen capital where a rich cultural programme was organised for them.

18 November 2006, State Information Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH)

Posted by countryturkmenistan at 5:21 PM

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