Today, the world community is celebrating the international day of biological diversity, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1995.
The concept of "biological diversity" has now become an integral part of the sustainable development plans of most countries, where the preservation of the richness of the plant and animal world has gone far beyond the scope of scientific interests.
In Turkmenistan, the protection of wildlife is carried out on the basis of national legislation. Our country confirmed its responsibility for the fate of rare fauna and flora of regional and global significance by ratifying the UN Convention on biological diversity in 1996. As part of the implementation of the document, a national strategy and action plan for the conservation of flora and fauna have been developed over the past period, and five reports have been prepared for the Convention Secretariat.
Candidate of biological Sciences, head of the Department of environmental protection and Hydrometeorology of the Ministry of agriculture and environmental protection of Turkmenistan Jumamurad SAPARMURADOV talks about the complex measures taken by Turkmen scientists to preserve biological diversity.
The territory of Turkmenistan is one of the most interesting regions of the continent with unique ecosystems.
Analysis of the conservation of fauna and flora is based on a scientific inventory of the animal and plant world, maintaining a cadaster, which is the basis for studying and clarifying the presence of certain animals or plants within their habitat, the number of individuals, and the state of the population. The need for such audits is confirmed by new descriptions of invertebrates that were not previously known on the territory of Turkmenistan from time to time, and not infrequent additions to the list of fauna.
Until now, the “Central Garagum” remains poorly studied in relation to invertebrates. According to a number of scientists, there are up to 8000 species of insects in these places alone.
76 species of fish live in the inland waters of the country, and taking into account the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea, there are 100 taxa. 33 species of ichthyofauna were found in the Garagum river, and 23 species of ichthyofauna were found in reservoirs and the Turkmen lake "Altyn Asyr". As a result of research conducted on the Amu Darya, Russian scientists have suggested that there are four different spadefishes, and not two, as previously thought, but their taxonomic status has not yet been fully determined.
The results of a modern revision of animals whose life is connected with water, allowed to update the list, which includes today six species of amphibians and 94-reptiles (turtles, lizards and snakes), numerous geckos.
The avifauna of Turkmenistan includes the settled 16 percent, 41 – of-flight-nesting, including remaining on wintering, 16 – span, 17 migratory-wintering and vagrant only 8 bird species. Of course, these are not final figures. Global climate change also leads to changes in the boundaries of the habitat and the nature of stay within the country of feathered visitors, especially on the outskirts, in places of transboundary landscapes and ecosystems, which can also be identified as a result of subsequent field research.
There are 106 species of mammals in Turkmenistan. Of the latest finds – the second type of badger that comes to us from the Iranian Kopetdag. Now we have the Asian and Transcaucasian badger, although previously it was believed that one polymorphic representative of this animal lives in our country.
Intensive human development of natural landscapes leads to changes in ecosystems. Large-scale reconstruction of nature, which began in the 50s of the XX century with the construction of the Garagum river, continues today with the formation of the Turkmen lake "Altyn Asyr". The construction of the Lake is necessary to improve the reclamation condition of agricultural land. These changes in the landscape lead to the transformation of surrounding areas and of biodiversity, restructuring of existing ecosystems and formation of another profile. Such changes are already taking place: new wetlands and their accompanying ecosystems have emerged. To trace the stages of such processes is the task facing the country's ecologists for future years, along with the study of rare and endangered animals and plants, and the development of methods for their conservation. The scale of the work is demonstrated by the release of the third edition of the red book of Turkmenistan (2011), which includes 104 species of vertebrates, 45 - invertebrates, 115 - plants and fungi. Since then, almost ten years have passed and now scientists are working on preparing another such publication.
The study and protection of biodiversity continues within nine state nature reserves, each of which performs its own specific work arising from the tasks of integrated research of ecosystems, which are divided into three biographical provinces: Turan, (Repetek, Amu Darya, Gaplangyr and Bereketli-Garagum reserves), Mountain-Central Asian (Koytendag) and Kopetdag-Horasan (Kopetdag and Sunt-Hasardag). The ecosystem at the junction of the Garagum desert, the Kopetdag-Horasan mountains and The parapraxis foothills is presented in the Badhyz state register. Hazar is located in the dry TRANS-Caspian semi-desert, which is in contact with the Eastern waters of the Caspian Sea. Thanks to protective measures over the past ten years, it has been possible to stabilize the population of the screw goat in Koytendag, the number of which has increased by more than one and a half times. Juniper forests in the mountains began to recover. In the foothills of Kopetdag near the capital and other major cities on an area of more than 110 thousand hectares, forest Park zones have been created, consisting of almost 90 million trees and shrubs of coniferous and deciduous species. Such measures have a positive impact on the state of the animal world, for example, argali and hares live quietly in the southern suburbs of the capital, and foxes and other animals can be seen at dusk.