STATE OF FAUNA

The fauna of Turkmenistan includes 695 species of vertebrates (cyclostomes, one; fish, 107; amphibians, five; reptiles, 82; birds, 397; and mammals, 103). At present, more than 4,000 species of the invertebrates are recorded in the country: Orthoptera, 179; ants, 197; ground beetles, 430; darkling beetles, 330; weevils, 490 (all beetles, more than 2000); butterflies, about 1,000; etc. [Table]
The great diversity of the vertebrate and invertebrate fauna is explained by the geographical location of the country on the junction of fauna complexes of various origin and by the combination of modern ecological conditions.
The water bodies of Turkmenistan are populated by diverse and unique ichtyofauna. Many species and subspecies are regional or local endemic; some populations live on the margins of the natural ranges of species. Considerable part of ichtyofauna is made up of distant introducers that settled in water bodies as a result of human economic activities.

One of the main regions where sturgeon concentrates, is the part of the Caspian Sea next to the Turkmen coast. This is the place where fish, which reproduce and hatch in the various rivers of the Caspian drainage (from the Volga in the north to the Sekhridruda in the south) fatten and hibernate. The sturgeons do not currently migrate into the Atrek River (the only Caspian watershed river of the Turkmen coast), and therefore this fish does not reproduce in Turkmenistan.
Among the vertebrates, 101 species should be protected (mammals, 27; birds, 35; reptiles, 30; amphibians, one: and fish, 8). All these species are placed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (2nd Edition, Ashgabat, 1999). One of each seven vertebrate species is included in the Red Data Book. It is notable that of fish species which were listed in the Red Data Book of the ex-USSR, three species (or 33%) are found in the Turkmen fauna; the same figures for the reptiles are 19 species (or 54%); for birds, 32 species (40%); and for mammals, 24 species (26%). Thus, of 216 species of the vertebrates (without amphibians) listed in the Red Data Book of the ex-USSR, 78 species are found in Turkmenistan.
1 The State of Environment of Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, 1999.

The Ministry of Nature Protection of Turkmenistan