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Gizilaghaj – country’s largest, most diverse nature reserve

25 November 2019 [15:41] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rasana Gasimova

Nature reserves are heavenly places on Earth and are home to the last specimens of endangered animals. Blessed with fabulous natural resources, Azerbaijan has some of the most beautiful national reserves.

Gizilaghaj Nature Reserve - a picturesque state nature reserve in southern Azerbaijan, located in Lankaran region, on the shores of the Caspian Sea is one of them.

Occupying the area of 88 360 hectares, the reserve was founded in 1929. It was created for the purpose of protecting and creating conditions for wintering and nesting of migrant, swamp and wild birds. The Gizilaghaj Reserve is the biggest reserve in Azerbaijan.

The name of the reserve means "pink trees", in tribute to the pink flamingos living there.

The area is abundant in migratory birds. In winter, ducks, geese, swans, pelicans, coots, sultana birds, black francolins, flamingos nest here. Herons, glossy ibis, spoonbills, waders are also inhabitants of the reserve. The reserve is the largest wintering ground for waterfowl and semiaquatic birds in Europe.

Gizilaghaj has a large concentration of wildlife. The reserve is home to a wide variety of animals, including wild boars and wolfs. There are a lot of fish in the water reservoirs. The coastal territory and the water area of the reserve are included in the list of wetlands of international importance. Most of the birds listed in the Red Book of Azerbaijan live in the reserve and its border territories.

The reserve is popular among eco-tourism lovers from all over the world coming to see its fascinating views.

The waters of the reserve are inhabited by 54 species of fish, including pike perch, kutum, carp, mullet and salmonm while the forests are inhabited by wild boar, reed cat, badger, wolf, otter, jackal and fox.

The reserve is inhabited by 26 species of mammals, 273 species of birds, 15 species of reptiles, and five species of amphibians.

Forests in the reserve are populated by reed cat, badger, wolf, otter, jackal and fox.

As to the flora of the reserve, wetland plants, semi-desert plants, and meadows are common. The two species of tamarix which forms dense thickets are most common to this area. Christ's-thorn, blackberry, camel thorn, fine-branched gerbil, Indian plantain, hodgepodge, and wormwood also grow here.

Together with Aggol National Park, Gizilaghaj Nature Reserve has been included in the list of UNESCO Ramsar Convention "On international importance of wetlands as birds' residing places."


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