Wildlife of Turkmenistan

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan by Hemra by www.Ashgabat.us Photo Gallery of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan is covered in steppes, deserts and mountains. It has the second lowest population density (after Kazakhstan) in former Soviet Central Asia. Photo by Hemra on Flickr.


Plant life is sparse in the vast, arid desert, where only drought-resistant grasses and desert scrub grow. The mountain valleys in the south support wild grapevines, fig plants, and ancient forests of wild walnut trees. The mountain slopes are covered with forests of juniper and pistachio trees. Dense thickets called tugai grow along riverbanks. The wildlife in the mountains of Turkmenistan includes the caracal (or Persian lynx), goats, cheetahs, and snow leopards. In the desert, gazelles, foxes, and wildcats thrive. In the tugai live jackals, wild boar, and the rare pink deer. Reptiles are abundant and include the Central Asian cobra, the desert monitor (a large lizard), several species of gecko (a small lizard), and the tortoise. Migratory birds, such as ducks, geese, and swans, inhabit the Caspian shore during winter.


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, environmental regulation is largely unchanged in Turkmenistan. The new government created the Ministry of Natural Resources Use and Environmental Protection in July 1992, with departments responsible for environmental protection, protection of flora and fauna, forestry, hydrometeorology, and administrative planning. Like other CIS republics, Turkmenistan has established an Environmental Fund based on revenues collected from environmental fines, but the fines generally are too low to accumulate significant revenue. Thanks to the former Soviet system of game preserves and the efforts of the Society for Nature Conservation and the Academy of Sciences, flora and fauna receive some protection in the republic; however, “hard-currency hunts” by wealthy Western and Arab businesspeople already are depleting animals on preserves.

See also

Amudarya State Nature Reserve – UNESCO World Heritage Centre

  • The Amudarya State Nature Reserve was established in 1982 and covers a total of 48 500 ha. It is split into three separate sites in the middle reaches of the Amudarya River: Nargiz (45 100 ha), Gabaklinskiy (1 200 ha) and Gereldinskiy (2 200 ha); in which the valley flood plain tugais, idge-hillocks and barkhan sands, and salt pans of the Turan lowlands are well represented.

Wildlife and nature guides to the world

  • Birdwatching in Turkey
  • Mixed
  • Nature and wildlife apps for iphone
  • Wildlife calendar
  • Wildlife of Africa
  • Wildlife of Asia
  • Wildlife of Europe
  • Wildlife of North Africa
  • Wildlife of North and South America
  • World wildlife guides