Natural conditions. Kyrgyzstan is a country of an amazing combination of various natural landscapes and cultural traditions. A traveler visiting Kyrgyzstan only in one day can get from semi-desert and steppe foothills to mountainous rain forests, to alpine meadows or to the zone of perennial glaciers and snow. These contrasting travels make it possible to understand many geographical and wildlife issues as well as ecosystem interaction processes. Tien-Shan is a habitat for a great variety of biodiversity. In the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, today there are about 12 thousand species of invertebrates, more than 75 species of fish, 4 species of amphibians, 37 species of reptiles, 368 species of birds and 84 species of mammals. This diversity of fauna has been preserved due to the large areas of pristine untouched ecosystems.
Geographical position of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is landlocked. It is located in Central Asia, and occupies a large western part of the Tien-Shan. The area of the territory is about – 199 950 square km. The territory of the country stretches for 900 km from east to west and 410 km from north to south.
Kyrgyzstan borders in the east and southeast with China, in the north with Kazakhstan, in the west with Uzbekistan and in the south with Tajikistan. One of the consequences of the Stalinist division of Central Asia into five republics is that many ethnic Kyrgyz do not live in Kyrgyzstan. They remained outside the modern borders of the country, on the territory of the Pamir in Tajikistan and on the territory of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In Soviet times, due to the internal policy of the Soviet government, three enclaves were created, which are legally parts of the Kyrgyz territory, but are geographically separated by several kilometers, two in Uzbekistan and one in Tajikistan.
The main mountain system of the country is the Tien-Shan; it is one of the most dynamic mountain systems in the world. Kyrgyzstan occupies the western part of the Tien-Shan. The south-western part of the country covers the Pamir – an equally magnificent mountain system of Central Asia. More than 90% of the territory of Kyrgyzstan is occupied by mountains and intermountain valleys. The average altitude of Kyrgyzstan is 2,750 meters, ranging from 394 meters in the Fergana Valley to 7,439 meters in the Central Tien-Shan (Victory Peak).
The eastern part of Kyrgyzstan is more humid and moderate because of the influence of the Issyk-Kul Lake and its elevation to an altitude of more than 1600 m. The south-western part has a hotter dry climate. Tien-Shan is a source of water resources. This is a water tower for all of Central Asia and the source of life for the peoples living here. Tien Shan is surrounded by deserts and semi-deserts. Life in the neighboring regions depends on water, which is formed in the Tien-Shan Mountains.
Ecology Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is limited to the many environmental problems that its Central Asian neighbors face. During the Soviet system there was neither heavy industry nor large-scale cotton production here. In addition, the economic downturn in the early 1990s led to the easing of some serious industrial and agricultural policies. This allowed preserving our nature. However, Kyrgyzstan has serious problems due to inefficient use and pollution of water resources, land degradation and poor agricultural practices. But these problems can be solved with the help of ecological tourism, which is developing in Kyrgyzstan.
Hydro Resources of Kyrgyzstan. Despite the fact that Kyrgyzstan has a large amount of water, its water supply is determined by the post-Soviet agreement on the division of water between the five Central Asian countries. Just like in Soviet times, Kyrgyzstan can have only 25% of the water originating in its territory. But the new agreement allows Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan the unlimited use of the water that comes to them from Kyrgyzstan, without compensation to the source country.
Irrigation is extremely wasteful due to outdated and poorly maintained hydraulic infrastructure. About 70% of the country’s water supply networks of the country need rehabilitation. However, the country has good clean drinking water potential. In the north-east of the country is located one of the main attractions of Kyrgyzstan – the Issyk-Kul Mountain Lake, on the shores of which there are numerous resorts and tourist bases. Other large high-mountainous lakes that are popular among tourists are Son-Kul, Chatyr-Kul and Sary-Chelek lakes. But few people know that in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan there are about 3000 amazing high-mountainous lakes.
Flora of Kyrgyzstan. It is the only source for the production of plant materials for medicine, many branches of agriculture and industry. Therefore, the rational use of plant resources is one of the main problems of modern biology. As already mentioned, on Kyrgyz territory, despite its small area, there are 3,786 species of only higher flowering plants, not counting mosses, lichens, algae, fungi and other plants, which also contain nutrients. All this speaks of the extraordinary wealth and diversity of the flora of Kyrgyzstan. If you compare the flora of the republic with the flora of other countries, its wealth will look even brighter and more significant. In Altai, on the area of 400,000 km2 there are 1900 species of higher recorded plants. In Mongolia, on the area of 1 million 531 thousand km2, that is, an area exceeding Kyrgyzstan by 7 times, there are only 1600 registered species. And in the Eastern Pamir there are only 450 species. Many factors contribute to the richness of the flora of Kyrgyzstan. And above all, there is a variety of modern physiographic conditions, a complex history of flora and cenogenesis, starting in the Paleozoic period. The glacial environment also influenced in the formation of flora here. According to glaciologists, there were 26 glaciations in Kyrgyzstan and they contributed to the penetration of boreal flora into our territory.
One of the main reasons for the floristic diversity of Kyrgyzstan is, apparently, its geographic location. Tien-Shan is a powerful mountain system, occupying a central position in Asia. Here occurs a crossing of the migration routes of different floras: boreal, Turanian, Mongolian-Manchurian, Japanese-Chinese, Indo-Himalayan, Mediterranean and others. This crossing of paths, of course, and has a dominant influence on the flora of the Tien-Shan. In addition, the modern lithological composition contributes to the loosening of heredity, as a result of which an intensive process of plant species formation is observed. Now such types of flora as wormwood, onions, willows, feather grass, caragana and many others are in the period of formation. Thus, the entire set of physiographic factors led to a very complex floristic setting that developed on the Tien-Shan. There is a quite detailed coverage in the eleven volume book of “Flora of Kyrgyzstan”.
The Kyrgyz national cuisine
The Kyrgyz national cuisine – is a synthesis of the ancient nomadic culture of the Kyrgyz people and the borrowing of dishes and recipes of more than 80 nationalities and ethnic groups living in Kyrgyzstan, as well as the neighbors of Uzbekistan and China. The life of the nomads was a constant movement from place to place in the steppes and among the mountains, in cold and warm weather, and therefore their food was high-calorie and nutritious. The main food of the Kyrgyz people was boiled meat (lamb, horse meat, yak) and dairy (sheep and mare) products. In modern Kyrgyz cuisine there are traditional dishes of Russian, Dungan, Uzbek and Korean culinary traditions.
Even in one country in the north and south there are some differences and preferences in dishes and tastes. So, in the northern areas, the main festive dish is beshbarmak – finely chopped boiled meat with noodles, while in the south pilaf is more popular, borrowed apparently from settled Asian peoples. There are differences in tea preferences. In the north, black tea with milk is popular, the tea itself is brewed in the Russian way, and Russian samovars are also popular. In the south, milk is not added to tea, tea drinking traditions are similar to Uzbek ones. And in this region green tea is popular.
But in any case, the basis of the national Kyrgyz cuisine is lamb meat. Meat is laid in a cauldron and cooked in water without adding vegetables. Each bone with meat has its own purpose and is served to the guests individually. Also a popular dish is boiled lamb’s head from which the host of a feast separates various pieces with a sharp knife and offers guests according to their status.
Fauna of Kyrgyzstan
Mineral deposits of Kyrgyzstan
Lakes of Kyrgyzstan
Caves of Kyrgyzstan
Hazardous natural processes of Kyrgyzstan
Tourist resources of Kyrgyzstan
Mountain peaks of Kyrgyzstan
Reserves of Kyrgyzstan
Peoples of Kyrgyzstan
Sights of Kyrgyzstan
History of Kyrgyzstan