Biodiversity of Kyrgyzstan

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Ecosystem diversity
Species diversity
Spesies under the threat
Forest state

Ecosystem diversity

93% of the Kyrgyzstan territory are classified as uninfringed or slightly infringed natural ecosystems. Due to a variety of landscapes and microclimate, limits of ecosystem variety are wide enough - from deserts to leaf-bearing and coniferous forests and Alpine high mountainous system.

22 classes of ecosystems were marked out by scientists of Kyrgyzstan. Availability of deserts (more than 13ths., or 68% of the territory), nival and subnival zones (11.5, or 12% of the territory) points to ecosystem poverty throughout the considerable territory of the country (12.6%). The most variable ecosystems are situated in middle mountain zone between 2000-3000 m above the sea level where 14 out of 22 classes of ecosystems occur. It makes up 63%, meanwhile the middle mountain area itself occupies just 30% of the country's territory.

More abundant variety of ecosystems is represented in the western Tien-Shan and Central Tien-Shan biogeographical regions, where there are 16 out of 22 classes of ecosystems making up 72.7% of their total variety. Fergana and southern Kazakhstan regions are most meagre, there are 3-5 classes of ecosystems in them. Between them there are the Alai (13 ecosystem classes, 59.1%), the Northern Tien-Shan, the Issyk-Kul and the Central Tien-Shan regions (10 ecosystems per each, 45.4%).

At present there is no single natural ecosystem on the territory of the country which does not suffer from human influence.

Foot hills steppes, tugai and water bog complexes have practically disappeared in the Chui Valley; dry steppes, semi-arid and arid ecosystems in the Pre Fergana zone have disappeared too.

Due to strong pollution ecosystem of river downstreams degradated. In many cases they disappeared physically because of complete utilization of water for irrigation. Steppe desert and semi-arid ecosystems of foot hills plains,inter-mountain valleys, riverbanks, arboreal and shrubs vegetation are subjected to strong pasture destruction.

Such position does not allow natural ecosystems to perform their most important ecological functions: maintenance of ecological balance, carbon dioxide extraction, strengthening of slopes, discharge regulation, forming of soil layer, purification of air, maintenance of biological variety.


Species diversity

K yrgyzstan is a unique location of species concentration of wild animals and plants in Central Asia. In comparison with average world index there is higher concentration of species of vertebrates plants, mushrooms, molluscs etc.

Among plants and animals there are a lot of valuable, rare and endemic species. Fauna is rather variable and non-uniform by origin. Region fauna basis is made up by species peculiar to the Central Asian and Mediterranean regions. More than 500 species of vertebrates, including 83 mammals, 368 species of birds, 28 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, 75 species of fish, 3000 species of insects can be found here. Principle species of endemic animals are represented by molluscs and a number of insect groups (spiders, locusts, ortho- ptera, hymenopterous, lepidoptera). Among mammals Menzbeer marmot, relic suslic, red Tien Shan and silver field alticola,ochotona rutila. Tien Shan and Pamir Alai endemics are 4 species of reptiles: Nickolski Lizard, Turkestan agama, Pavlovski agama, Alai ablepharus deserti.

Flora of Kyrgyzstan accounts for more than 4500 species of superior plants. About 1600 species have economic and useful value including fodder - 450 species, meliterous - 300 species, medicinal - 200 species, etherolieferous - 62 species, food - 50 species. Such variety of species is the richest genofund providing relative steadiness of vegetable kingdom under the conditions of sharply changing phenomena of continental climate and utilization of its resources. Taking into consideration a relatively limited area of the country, a variety of biocenosis can be represented rather considerably.

Vertical stratification is well observed in proliferation of flora and fauna on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. As a whole the republic has favourable natural conditions. However gradually intensifying process of anthropogenous influence on environment impedes preservation of many species of animals and plants in condition of natural freedom.

Their number reduction occured as a result of cattle-breading intensification, earlier developed without preservation of surrounding medium. Cutting down arboreal shrub vegatation, ploughing up significant plots, drying up reservoir and poaching damage essentially populations and their and places of inhabibitancy.

Species under the threat

T here are 92 animal species and 65 plant species in the list being under threat of disappearence. It is approximately 1% of species abundancy of Kyrgyzstan.

It is necessary to take into consideration that a considerable part of species has not been found yet. Areas of registered species are still far from being known for everybady as well as their number and status.

Some species are known by single findings, and it is difficult to say something definite. At present 68 species of animals and 65 species of plants being under the threat of disappearance in the Republic Red Book.

Conditions of amphibious, snakes, predatory, mammals, birds cause special alarm. Sharp change in inhabitant places and straight destruction of plants and animals led to disappearance of some species (11 species) and the others were put under the threat of disappearance.

Fauna of large and middle sized mammals - 3 species died out, 15 species are under the threat. Bird Fauna - 4 species died out, 26 species are under the threat. Flora - 3 species practically disappeared, 54 species are under the threat of disappearance.

Forest state

T he total area of Kyrgyzstan state fund is 2,861.3 thous.hect including 843 thous.hect of land covered with forests.

The main share of the total republic forest fund (89.9%) belongs to the State Forestry Agency. The woods of the forest reserves make up 4.1%, the town and fixed forests - 3.6%, the forests of the former collective farms - 2.4% of the total republic state forest fund area.

In the forests more than 170 wood and bush species grow. The predominating forest forming species are: junipers, Tien-Shan fir-tree and walnut-tree. The most valuable coniferous forests occupy 38.7% of the area covered with the forest. The plantations of the walnut tree make up about 4.6%.

In the forests of the northern Tien-Shan there are such kinds of trees as: fir-tree (Picea schrenkiana), broad-leafed species including poplar (Popules ssp.), willow (Salix spp.) in general. In the western Tien-Shan, with drier territories, protected from the northern winds, pistachio-tree (Amuldalus communic) grow. The famous genethic centre of the walnut forests is on the damper territories of the south, where Junglans regia is the main species. In the walnut forests the apple-tree (Malus spp.) as well as the maple (Acer spp.) grow. On the drier mountain slopes both in the north and the south different kinds of the wood juniper occur.

A big share in the area covered with the forests makes up bushes - 41.3%.

On the whole in Kyrgyzstan the area covered with the forests is 4.2%. The forestness in the oblasts of the republic is as follows: the Djalal-Abad oblast - 9%, the Naryn oblast - 2.2% and Chui oblast - 2.1%.

The large tracts of forests grow at the altitude interval from 1300 to 2800 m above the sea level.

More than a half of the coniferous and hard leaf-bearing species areas are low dense. They perform the functions of the surface flow regulation and soil erosion prevention on the mountain slopes. The productive forests with density of 0.8-1.0 make up only 7.8% of the total area of the main forest-making species. Because of the intensive forest use within 1930-1988 the forest areas decreased almost 2 times or by 513.3 hect including the main forest-making species: fir-trees - 72 thous. hect, walnut trees - 16.3 thous. hect, juniper - 320 thous. hect.

At present, in spite of some increase of the areas covered with forest (in 1988 - 680.9 thous. hect, in 1993 - 702.1 thous. hect) the quality of the forests is left to be desired. According to the data of the last registration there is a distinct tendency to the region forests ageing. The ageing process passes ahead the process of the forest renewal.

In the age structure of the forest, the ripe, over-ripe (44.8%) and middle-aged (32%) forest forming species predominate, but there is a noticeable deficit of the ripe (13.6%) and especially undergrowth (9.6%).These facts point to the natural ageing of the forest and the necessity of its rejuvenation. Besides, loosing its main protecting functions over-ripe forests are the main hotbeds of the pests and disease affection.

Ichtyophauna state

C urrently 75 species of fishes coming outside and 3 species of amphibians are known in Kyrgyzstan, 12 species are met only on the territory of the Republic. Here 0.38 of fish species falls per one thousand , whereas in neighbouring Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this parameter is appreciably lower: 0.04 and 0.18 accordingly. The world quantity percentage of fishes class species makes up 0.39.

Degradation of water ecosystems (lakes, rivers, water reservoirs) took place for the account of:

  • chemical and biological pollution (21 species of 75 species of fishes were delivered from the outside);
  • eutrophication of reservoirs because of organic wastes pollution;
  • regulation of the rivers flow and water in-take for irrigation.

It has resulted in threat of extinction of water flora and fauna; disturbance of fishes communities structure; degradation of physico-chemical properties of water; deterioration of inhabitancy conditions of water organisms, migration and spawning of fishes.

Objects of fishery in Kyrgyzstan
Name Aborigen Acclim
Samo trutta oxianus +  
Samo issykogegarcuni   +
Samo gairdneri   +
Coregonus lavaretus ludoga   +
Coregonus peled   +
Esox lucius aralensis +  
Scardinius erythrophtalmus +  
Rutilis rutilts aralensis +  
Leuciscus schmidti +  
Leuciscus bergi +  
Ctenopharyngodon idella   +
Hypophtalmichtys molitrix   +
Tinca tinca   +
Schizothorax intermedius +  
Schizothorax pseudoaksaensis tschuensis +  
Schizothorax p. talassi +  
Schizothorax p. issykkuli +  
Diptychus maculatus +  
Diptychus dubowskii +  
Abramis brama orientalis   +
Carassius auratus   +
Cyprinus carpio +  
Silurus glandis +  
Perca fluviatilis   +
Perca schrenki   +

In the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan, 2 species of fish were introduced, for the period since 1985 1 species of fish was added too.

  • National Report on Environment State in 1997. Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, 1998.
  • Strategy Project and Action Plan on Biodiversity protection. Ministry of Environment Protection, Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, 1998.

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