Wildlife tours in Azerbaijan have become a very popular option for nature lovers. The country’s location on the border between Europe and Asia gives it a wide range of habitats. And since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 it has mounted intensive conservation programmes, creating nine national parks and numerous state reserves to preserve its wildlife. Although more than half of its surface area is made up of mountainous regions, the Greater Caucasus in fact protect it from...
Wildlife tours in Azerbaijan have become a very popular option for nature lovers. The country’s location on the border between Europe and Asia gives it a wide range of habitats. And since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 it has mounted intensive conservation programmes, creating nine national parks and numerous state reserves to preserve its wildlife.
Although more than half of its surface area is made up of mountainous regions, the Greater Caucasus in fact protect it from the fierce northern Arctic winds, resulting in a subtropical climate in the lowland foothills and plains stretching down to the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan has the largest variety of mammals known in Europe. Its national symbol is the Karabakh Horse, unique to the country and bred for centuries for riding and racing due to its speed and stamina. Other rare mammals found only in the region include the Caucasian Leopard, Jeyran Gazelle and Caucasus Mouflon, a type of wild sheep.
More than 360 species of bird have been recorded there, including a number of migrants and species that winter in the country. The Golden Eagle is also another popular national symbol. Key for birders is the presence of White-tailed Eagles, Bearded Vultures, Eurasian Eagle-owls, Caspian Tits, Caucasian Snowcocks, Mongolian Finches, Red-tailed Wheatears, Upcher’s Warblers, Lanner Falcons, Grey-necked Buntings and Hoopoes.
Wildlife tours in Azerbaijan can also include sightings of the Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, Golden Jackal, Wild Boar, Moose, Pine and Beech Martens and more than 25 species of bats. There is also rich diversity of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates – including a staggering 17,500 species of butterfly.
As the world’s largest inland body of water, the Caspian Sea is the site for the first ever marine protected area preserving Belugas, Caspian Salmon and up to six varieties of Sturgeon. Two new fish species – the Stone Moroko and the Korean Sharpbelly – were only discovered as late as the 1970s. The southern reaches of the Caspian coastline are also popular for wildlife tourism, affording opportunities to spot Spoonbills, Flamingos and Pelicans.
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