Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, the western part of Uzbekistan is a very flat lowland,
comprising about 80 percent of the surface, while the
eastern part is mountainous. Around the Aral Sea in the
northwest stretch parts of the Turan plain, which in the
east turns into the desert Kyzylkum.
The Amu-Darja River, which forms part of the border with
Turkmenistan, has deposited a large delta on the southern
The high, eastern part consists of several mountain
ranges, separated by valleys and streams, offshoots from
western Tian Shan, among others. Here the Bajsuntau
Mountains in the southeast reach 4,424 meters above sea
level and Besjtor in the northeast 4 299 meters above sea
The fertile Fergana Valley in northeastern Uzbekistan and
several oases have a network of irrigation channels.
Syr-Darja crosses Uzbekistan in its upper race and passes
through the Fergana Valley. Other rivers such as Zeravshan
are utilized to the maximum for irrigation and then dry up
in the sand. Several streams and plateaus in southeastern
Uzbekistan are covered by loose soil.
Uzbekistan has desert climate in the west and steppe
climate in the east. The annual rainfall averages 200 mm and
falls most in winter and spring, but is in the mountain
areas three times as large as in the lowlands. The long,
cloudless summer of May - October gives high temperatures of
about 32 ～ C on average for July. The day temperature can
sometimes exceed 40 ～ C. The winter is short and the north
has an average temperature of −12 ～ C; On individual days,
the temperature can drop to -38 ～ C.
Uzbekistan has desert vegetation with target plant
species from the genus Aʹtriplex, Arthroʹphytum
and Saʹlsola as dominant along with herbs and
hard-leafed grasses. Against Tian Shan in the east, the
flora becomes richer, and although it is mainly of a steppe
nature, it has elements of trees and shrubs, such as apple,
maple and walnut. In these mountains is the Zaamin Nature
Reserve with about 700 species of vascular plants.
Wildlife is dominated by desert animals, especially
rodents such as rats and desert rats as well as crawfish.
Locally, there is also a gazelle (Gazeʹlla subgutturoʹsa)
and in some place the ball (subspecies of the half-ash).
Quite a few species of predators, including tiger gills,
several species of cat animals, wolf and crustaceans (Vuʹlpes
Birds are especially noteworthy with larches,
stonewatches, various finches, bee-eaters and blue-collar.
The terrestrial crow bird Panders desert wars (Podoʹces
pandeʹri) occur sparingly. There are many bird species
in watered oases.
In the mountain areas farthest to the southeast, a fauna
similar to that of Tajikistan is encountered.
Up to the 1960s, the Aral Sea was rich in fish (17
species, including starfish and carp), which supported an
extensive fishing industry. The rapidly decreasing water
level and the consequent strong salinization have knocked
out practically the entire fish fauna.
In 1997, there were two national parks (Ugam-Chatkal and
Zaaminsky) and nine major scientific nature reserves,
comprising about 2% of the country's area.