found in Kyrgyzstan is also rich and diverse. Over the
territory of Kyrgyzstan one can find animal life typical of deserts and
forests, valleys and mountains, steppes and meadows.
There are about 500 different species of vertebrates and over 3000
species of insects which have been catalogued, including 60 species of
dragon-fly, 86 species of butterfly, 86 species of ants, 33 species of
bees, and 250 species of cicadas. Some of these insects have a
detrimental effect – for example adding to the denudation of
the forest reserves.
Stocks of about 50 different species of fish can be found in the waters
of Kyrgyzstan’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs. In Lake
Issyk-Kul there are chebachok, chebak, sazan, carp, trout, marinka,
osman, bream, line, pike-perch, sig, and crucian. In the various
reservoirs and rivers: sazan, crucian, barbel, pike, marinka and other
species of fish. Trout can be found in mountain rivers.
There are 25 species of reptiles including tortoises, lizards, and
snakes, (some of the snakes are poisonous).
Ornithologists can spot a wide variety of bird-life, which includes
some 335 species. In different areas of the country one can encounter
pheasant, grey herons, the “cherry bird”,
woodpecker, eagle-owl, silvered sea-gull, red-wing flamingo amongst
others. On Lake Issyk-Kul you can meet “hissing”
swans, “crying” swans, grey geese, and pelicans. It
is estimated that between 60 and 70 thousand migratory birds can be
found here during the winter. Amongst the rare species of
birds it is possible to see in Kyrgyzstan there are
“balaban”, white stork, golden eagle, bearded
vulture, bustard, demoiselle crane, “snake eater”,
white-tail sea eagle, steppe eagle, black stork. Cranes congregate at
Son Kul and Chatyr Kul on the migratory journeys.
are represented by 83 different species, including Mountain Sheep
(arkhar), bears, and “maral” in the spruce forests
of the Tien-Shan and in the Ak-Sai, Arpa, and Suusamyr highly mountain
valleys. The mountain ridges and valleys provide homes for foxes,
wolves, badger, weasel, ermine, and stone martens. In some regions it
is also possible to find snow leopard (Bars), wild boar, roe deer,
Siberian goat, porcupine, hedgehog, hare, marmot,
Unfortunately, a large number of species are very rare or
endangered. The “Red Data Book of
Kyrgyzstan” lists som 209 species: 26 mammals, 53 birds, 10
reptiles and amphibians, 7 fish. 18 insects and 30 plant species in
these categories. This represents an increase of 102 species
since the list was first compiled twenty over years ago, in
1985. Amongst the most famous of the endangered
species are the Snow Leopard and the Argali, (or Marco Polo Sheep).
It also has to be admitted, however, that although the diversity of
wildlife is very great, a lot of it is restricted to more remote
regions, is naturally “shy” of man and/or
nocturnal, so it can be difficult to guarantee exactly what wildlife
the visitor will actually get to see.