Ecologists of Turkmenistan held events in July for the anniversary date: 35 years since the establishment of the Koytendag reserve, the State Publishing Service of the country reports.
The reserve, located in the etrap of the same name of Lebap velayat, was created on July 11, 1986, simultaneously with three reserves - Garlyk, Hojapil and Hojaburjibelent. In 1991, the fourth was formed - Hojagaravul.
In 2014, by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, the territory of the Hojagaravul reserve was expanded - ten thousand hectares of adjacent territories were added to it, including the habitats of the Red Book animals and the location of karst caves.
In general, the protected area is over 27,100 hectares. It is integral, it covers the central part of the upper belt of mountains, the western slope of the Koytendag ridge with an altitude zone of 430-3137 meters above sea level, the Govurdak mountains and adjacent sections of river valleys.
The main goal of the reserve staff is to preserve the genetic fund of flora and fauna, to develop the scientific foundations for nature conservation.
The local mountains are the highest in the country, are the western spur of the Gissar ridge of the Pamir-Alai system, and are listed as a special geobotanical zone. The wildlife world of the reserve comprises almost 990 species of flora and more than 180 species of animals. It is home to the markhor goat (markhur) and mountain sheep (argali).
In rivers and reservoirs, there are 10 species of fish, mainly char, two species of amphibians, 25 - reptiles, almost 230 - birds and 43 - mammals, as well as more than three hundred representatives of invertebrates.
Within the territory of the reserve and adjacent areas, 10 species of flora included in the Red Book of Turkmenistan, 39 endemics, 220 medicinal plants have been identified.
The reserve has the status of a scientific organization and the employees of the departments conduct research work, study objects and natural phenomena, which are recorded in a special yearbook – “Chronicles of naturalistic observations”. This is a kind of report on the life of nature, which is compiled in each reserve.
For example, the hydrological and temperature regime of the Karlyuk caves – “Gapgotan”, “Hashimoyuk”, “Gulshirin”, cavities of flooded holes – “Suvlyoyuk”, “Kaptar-hana”, the “Kyrkgyz” grotto, “Daray-dere” canyon, springs – “Bashbulak”, “Gaynar-baba”, Koyten rivers are carried out together with hydrogeologists, speleologists, karstologists, climatologists, biologists. The result of the latest research was the discovery in one of the caves of a previously unknown arthropod - a new species of two-tails. The arthropod was devoid of eyes, adapted to live in cave darkness, measuring only a few millimeters in size.
There is a museum in the reserve, where materials on rare and endemic plants are collected, according to a source.