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Geography of Tajikistan

Nature

Terrain shapes and bedrock

According to COUNTRYAAH, Tajikistan is high and mountainous; more than half of the surface is more than 3,000 m above sea level. Northern and central Tajikistan are dominated by outcrops from the Tian Shan mountain range. In the southeast, Pamir's mountain system with the highest peaks Ismoili Somoni (former name: Pik Kommunizma), 7,495 m above sea level, and Pik Lenina, 7,134 m above sea level.

Geography of Tajikistan

Valleys occupy less than 10% of the country's surface but are of great economic importance, e.g. Syr-Darja's fertile valley in the north. The whole country lies in a seismically active belt with severe earthquakes as a result. Lakes are mostly found in the Pamir area, eg. the salty Karakul, whose surface is 3,960 m above sea level. Lake Sarez was created by an earthquake in 1911. A dense river network exists; the largest rivers are Syr-Darja in the north and Amu-Darja along the border with Afghanistan.

Climate

Tajikistan has a pronounced continental climate. In the valleys it is subtropical with hot and dry summer. July has the average temperature of 27-30 ~ C, January −1 to 2 ~ C and the annual rainfall is 150-250 mm. In the mountain areas, the average temperature for January is −20 ~ C, the precipitation is below 100 mm and falls in summer. However, humid air can be pushed up from the valleys and give 800-1 500 mm of precipitation, mostly as snow.

Plant-and animal life

Most of the country is covered by dryland vegetation with grass and shrubs; only 4% of the area is wooded. The lowland is mainly cultivated, but with interspersed patches of desert and semi-desert vegetation. At the middle altitudes of the mountains (1,800-2,800 m above sea level) there are open forests of meadows. walnut, Turkestan maple (Aʹcer turkestaʹnicum), pistachio almond and juda tree. At higher altitudes there are alpine meadows or mostly different types of steppes.

Approximately 80 mammal species, 375 bird species and 40 reptile species are known from Tajikistan. In lower areas there are many species of rodents and reptiles, further among others. Houbara (Chlamydo'tis undula'ta), golden jackal and require roe (Gaze'lla subgutturo'sa). Brown bear, wolverine, wolf, lo and leopard are found in the mountain forests. Above the tree line are species such as argalifee, alpine goat, screwhorn goat, snow leopard, snow hen and steppe hen (Syrrhaʹptes paradox).

Nature conservation

In 2011 there were two national parks, Pamirski and Shirkent, as well as a number of major nature and wildlife reserves.

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