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  Home  »  Kyrgyzstan  »  Nature  »   Fauna

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Joost van der Ven, in his book Looking at Birds in the Kyrgyz Republic devotes a special chapter to cranes and the migratory routes that bring three different species to Kyrgyzstan.

These long legged, long necked, migratory birds with powerful wings, live either in marshlands on the steppes where they feed on plants, insects and even small animals.

In Spring, (typically in April), the birds fly from the region to the West of New Delhi in India to their summer nesting grounds in Siberia. Some fly up over the Western part of the republic and then turn East along the valley of the river Chui and the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, where they are joined by others who have flown through the Central Tien Shan.

In June, the non-breeding or moulting birds start to gather for the return journey and can be seen at the Tash Otkool reservoir to the North of Bishkek actually, this is in Kazakhstan, so there are visa problems for anyone who wants to go and see them.

In Autumn by about September, the birds repeat the route in reverse although apparently they are not as disciplined in following the route as in the spring.

Species of cranes are found throughout the world, except (for some reason) in South America, and they are given a place in many cultures. There is a Russian tradition that the soldiers when the die in battle turn into these birds.

They are mentioned in some of the guide books to Central Asia, and we sometimes get asked if it is possible to see them. Hence the special mention here

Fish provide an important source of iodine otherwise lacking in the Kyrgyz diet and is a popular form of food.Today, there are some 54 species found in Kyrgyzstan 38 of them indigenous and 16 introduced. The greatest diversity is found in Issyk Kul and the larger rivers depending on the waterflow ...

There are several different types of birds of prey (eagles, vultures, hawks, Bustards and so forth) found in the Kyrgyz Republic the largest is the Golden Eagle - Berkut.The wings of a young Golden Eagle tend to be light coloured with a dark line along the edge an older eagle will have a white tail ...

Yaks are large animals, they can reach two metres in height, a relative of cattle. As long ago as 3000 years ago, they were first tamed by man. Domestic yaks tend to be smaller and quieter than wild ones. They dont need special care and they are able to survive on scanty mountain vegetation. As well ...

The wolf has a bad reputation throughout the world. Perhaps part of this in modern times is due to the prevelance of Werewolf stories and films. There are a number of species of wolves found throughout the Republic, and their reputation is no better here than elsewhere especially as they seen as a ...

Marco Polo sheep
Marco Polo's Sheep (Ovis ammon polii) are a variety of Argali. They are also known as Great Tibetan Sheep, Pamir Argali, and Great Pamir Sheep. They are mainly known for their characteristicly large swirling horns.Some scholars have doubted the accuracy of Marco Polos accounts of his journey to Cathay ...

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
Tigers and cheetahs once roamed through the forests of Kyrgyzstan but the Snow Leopard is the only example of the Big Cats still to be found in Kyrgyzstan. They are extremely athletic capable of making huge leaps over ravines and can bring down prey almost three times their own size. They ...

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