Golden Rock Travel
Image

Aggyol NATIONAL PARK

Aggyol Lake is the most famous steppe lake ecosystem in Azerbaijan an oasis for the thousands of birds that breed, rest during migration or come from the north for winter time. The first attempt to protect the lake was taken in February 1964 when a sanctuary was established here in an area of 9173 hectares.In March 1978 the water body of the lake was given a status of a strictly protected reserve, the area of which accounted for 4400 hectares. Since July 2003 Aggyol Lake has become a national park, the area of which was extended up to 17924 hectaresThe objective in establishing the National Park is to ensure the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems and endangered species as well as carrying out environmental monitoring, education and ecotourism. In the past, the lake was the part of the huge floodplain in the Kura lowland. Now, it is the part of the complex irrigation system which was established after the construction of the Mingachevir Water Reservoir. Aggyol is a shallow lake with brackish waters the depth of which ranges from 0, 5 to 2, 5 m. It is surrounded by a broad belt reed beds.As a typical steppe lake its water level declines during the hot season reaching the lowest point in the late summer. The National Park area encompasses not only wetlands but also adjacent typical steppe and semi-desert landscapes. The main reason for the protecting the lake system is its international significance as a refuge for endangered bird species included in the IUCN “Red List” and the “Red Data Book” of Azerbaijan Republic.These are lesser white-fronted goose, white-headed duck, marbled duck, ferruginous duck, little bustard, little comorant, as well as flamingoes, pelicans, all 7 species of herons and a variety of species of ducks, geese, rails, waders and others. For at least 3 species Aggyol comprises up to 10 percent of the world’s population.Until early 1960s goitred gazelles of Azerbaijan occurred in the steppes around the Aggyol lake. Wolf, jackal, fox, hare, a lot of bats are found here and in the reed beds there is a robust population of rare and amazing reed cat. Visitors of the National Park can easily observe most of these animals.

Image

ALTIAGHAJ NATIONAL PARK

Altiaghaj National Park was established in August 2004. The National Park is located in Khizi and Siyazan regions. It was created in an area of 11 035 hectares on the base of Altiaghaj State Natural Reserve and adjacent state owned forest lands.The main objective in the creation of the National Park is to ensure the conservation of basic components of the natural landscape of the southeastern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, the rehabilitation of flora and fauna species, the implementation of environmental education along with tourism and recreation.Brown forest mountainous, humic carbon forest mountainous, steppe grassland mountainous and other types of terrains are found in the National Park’s area. The climate here is moderately warm and dry both in winter and summer.The largest river in the area is Atachay. Taking its origin at a height of 1870 meters in Dubrar Mountain the Atachay river flows into the Caspian Sea. The major part of the park is composed of areas covered with forests.The main tree species are Caucasian oak, Caucasian hornbeam, oriental beech, ash and birch. Shrub species occurring in the area include hawthorn, dog-rose and blackberry.Roe deer, brown bear, wild boar, lynx, raccoon, hair, fox, squirrel, wolf of mammals and pheasant, partridge, eagle, thrush, goatsucker, ring-dove of birds are found in the National Park.

Image

GOYGYOL NATIONAL PARK

Goygyol and surrounding forests are famous for their abundance and charm in the world. Goygyol always attracted attention for its fascinating nature and beauty, so in 1910-1912 the idea of the establishment of a reserve in the area was put on a point. As the first reserve in Azerbaijan - Goy gol State Nature Reserve was established in 1925. Then the reserve was abolished and it was re-established in accordance with the desire and proposal of the public in July 14, 1965 on the basis of the Order №475 of Azerbaijan SSR Soviet of Ministers.Goygyol National Park was established in April 1, 2008 by the Order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic on the base of Goygyol State Nature Reserve in the administrative territory of Khanlar (present Goygyol), Dashkasan and Goranboy districts. After having the status of National Park, the territory of Goy gol State Nature Reserve enlarged from 6739 hectares up to 12 755 hectares.
Goygyol National Park is located on the North-East part of Lesser Caucasus, on the North Slope of Kapaz Mountain, on 1000-3060 m high from the sea level and encloses medium and high mountain-forest semizones, mountain forest-meadow, subalp and alpine zones.
National Park is called by the name of Goygyol Lake. And the reason for that is its transparent water which reflects surrounding green forests and blue sky as a mirror.The principal aim of the establishment of Goygyol National Park is protection endemic and endangered flora and fauna species, regulation of the stability of natural complexes, creation of more favourable condition in order to carry out scientific-research works, environmental monitoring, ecological awareness of population and development of ecotourism in the tourist potentially areas.
Cold climate with dry winter prevails in the area. Annual temperature of the weather wavers between 4-10 degrees. Annual precipitation is 600-900 mm.The longest river in Goy gol National Park is the Aghsuchay – the right branch of the Kurakchay. The biggest lake in the area is Goy gol – one of the most wonderful and marvellous lakes in Azerbaijan. In 1939 as a result of earthquake occurred in Ganca, Kapaz mountain was tumbled down, blocked up the Aghsuchay river and the beautiful lake - Goy gol was formed. There are small lakes, such as Maralgol, Garagol, Zeligol, Aggol, Shamligol and etc. in the area.
The main part of the national park has a rich vegetation cover. The mountain-forest, mountain-steppe, supalp and alpine mountain-meadow vegetation ecosystem are spread in the area.

The mountain forests covering 1100-2200 m height has a very rich vegetation cover and contains 80 trees and bush species. The main part of the forests are represented by oriental beech, oriental oak, Caucasian hornbeam, birch, ash tree, sharp-leaved maple, lime-tree of small-leaved trees, Kokh pine of coniferous. Of shrubs, cornel, barberry, dog rose, medlar, spindle-tree, blackberry, of herbs, Caucasian violet, dandelion, bellflower, noble chamomille, fescue, mat-grass and meadow-grass and etc. are met. They are especially spread in subalp meadows. Goygyol National Park is also rich for its fauna. Of mammals, Caucasian red deer, roe deer, brown bear, billy goat, badger, forest cat, sable, lynx, hare, squirell, fox, hedgehog, Caucasian mole and etc., of birds quail, stock dove, wood cock, bearded vulture, black vulture, Egyptian vulture, eagle owl, owl, swan, black woodpeeker, golden oriole, wood lark, mistle thrush and etc. are spread in the area. Rare species - Caucasian red deer and forel fish (in Goy gol lake) are protected in the national park.
Beautiful and variegated nature, rich flora and fauna of Goygyol National Park will enable to organize and develop ecotourism in the area by attracting tourists and visitors.

Image

Shahdag National Park

 

The territory of the National Park was enlarged 14613 ha with the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan в„– 193/S, dated July 8, 2010, hence its territory was reached 130508 ha. The aim of establishment of the Shahdag National Park is rehabilitation, maintenance and management of global mountain forests and pasture ecosystems located in high mountainous areas including various endemic and endangered species and transboundary migratory animals, preservation of fertile soil layer, protection, reproduction and enrichment of fauna and flora species characteristic for the area, as well as regulation of natural complex stability, offer of all necessary facilities for the implementation of scientific-research works, environmental monitoring, environmental enlightenment of population and provision of development of ecotourism in the territory which has great tourism potential. The height of the National Park territory has substantially caused its climatic diversity, fertility of flora soils and richness of animal planet. The forests located in the territory are popular with rich, fascinating and picturesque landscape. Vertical fluctuation and scatter of relief, complex climate condition and soil lay has triggered pretty great diversity of flora.The height of the National Park territory has substantially caused its climatic diversity, fertility of flora soils and richness of animal planet. The forests located in the territory are popular with rich, fascinating and picturesque landscape. Vertical fluctuation and scatter of relief, complex climate condition and soil lay has triggered pretty great diversity of flora.

Image

Shirvan National Park

Shirvan National Park was established in July 2003 in an area of 54 373, 5 hectares. It is a part of specially protected site with an overall area of 65589 hectares on the south-eastern plain of the Kura-Araz lowland which also includes, Shirvan State Nature Reserve having an area of 6232 hectares and Bandovan State Natural Sanctuary with an area of 4930 hectares.The National Park was created with a view to the conservation of foremost components of a semi-desert landscape, the protection of goitred gazelles listed in the “Red Data Book” of Azerbaijan and species of fauna that are typical to this territory. Its functions also envision the implementation of environmental monitoring, public environmental education, as well as creating conditions for tourism and recreation.The diversity of the terrain, vegetation and soil cover in the area of the national park makes it possible to distinguish a number of natural landscapes areas. A major part of the park is occupied by saline semi-desert small hills and a saline semi-desert plain. In single areas distinct outlines of ancient coastal ridges and lagoons strike the eyes. A chain of hills is the main terrain that developed as a result of the wind’s work and serves as an excellent refuge and shelter for gazelles.Gazelle is considered lesser spread species in the world among mammals fauna. In this regard it exists mostly in Azerbaijan, Front, Middle and Central Asia. The territory of Azerbaijan is considered the main existence area of gazelles. However in the last 50-60 years expansion of anthropogenous activity has devastated their ecological balance and caused a situation of endanger for them.The number of lofty mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan is really unique. One can see hundreds of mud volcanoes around Baku, within the roughly 100 km circle of it. 50 % (even more) of the world mud volcanoes is located in Azerbaijan. The typical mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan distinguish for three main factors:Beginning from 1968 the historical-archeological expedition of the Museum of History of Azerbaijan carried out researches during a few years in the Caspian Sea and its coast. Various archeological monuments have been discovered under the Caspian Sea as well as in islands and at the coast. Remnants of juicy Bandovan-1 town (Nord-Ost-Kultuk, 20 km south of Bandovan cape) have been discovered at the coast.

Image

HIRKAN NATIONAL PARK

Hirkan National Park was established in 09 February 2004. The National Park is located on the shores of the Caspian Sea in the southeast of Azerbaijan. By the Decree dated on 23 april 2008 of the Prezident of Azerbaijan the area of Hirkan National park was enlarged to 40358 hectares. The park encompasses a virgin part of the Talish Mountains which are distinguished for its unique natural components. The mission of the National Park is to ensure the conservation of relict and endemic plant species of the Tertiary period, the protection of typical flora and fauna representatives of this area listed in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the implementation of environmental monitoring, public environmental education as well as creating conditions for research, tourism and recreation.The word “Hirkan” is derived from the ancient name of the Caspian Sea and a name sake city. A tribe inhabiting this area was also similarly called. Most of the park’s area is covered by forests and is composed of mountains extending from northwest to southeast. The park is rich in plant species. The vegetation cover is mainly represented by trees and shrubs that form forests here. Although the landscape does not slope steeply upwards reaching only 1000 m at most, type of forests here distinctively change by height zones as you proceed from east to west towards the mountain peak. Forests in the lower part predominantly comprise chestnut-leaved oak, ironwood and hornbeam together with black locust, Hirkan fig, Caucasian persimmon, etc.As you climb upper ironwood and chestnut-leaved oak decline and get replaced with beech forests. The most typical distinctiveness of subtropical forests in the Lankaran zone, where Hirkan National Park is located, is that Hirkan type forests have been well-preserved to date and consist of mainly endemic and rare tree and shrub species. Of 435 tree and shrub species occurring in Azerbaijan 150 ones grow in the Hirkan forests while 36 of them are endemic. While tropical forests are made up of four tiers, subtropical Hirkan forests are three-tiered. The climate in the park is humid. Summer is dry, autumn is moist and winter is moderate.The hottest temperature is 22-25 0 C and the coldest weather is 1-3o C. The richness of the region’s plant kingdom has provided habitat for many animals here. Front-Asian leopard, lynx, wild cat, badger, wild boar, roe deer, sika deer, raccoon are found among. Front-Asian leopard is threatened with extinction and protected under the Red Data Book of Azerbaijan and IUCN list. The ornitofauna of Hirkan National Park numbers over 118 bird species. 16 species including black stork, osprey, Northern goshawk, imperial eagle, Talish Caucasian pheasant, black francolin are listed in the Red Data Book of Azerbaijan.The entomofauna of the national park is very rich in endemic species. Among the Red-listed species one can find here Talish longhorn beetle, Talish ground beetle, speckled wood, Talish orangetip butterfly, Caspian parandra, brahmid moth and other insects. Hirkan National Park is also famous by its rare natural monuments. There are more than one hundred natural and cultural monuments in the park’s area.One of the most famous natural forest monuments is “Guru Nabi”, a sacred place nearby Zungulash village in Astara district. During the Neolith and Bronze Ages a center of the Southern Caucasus agriculture was located in the vicinity of Hirkan forests. Archeological excavations show that farming flourished here in the 5 th to 4th millennium BC. The proximity of Hirkan National Park to the Caspian Sea and main highways, its beautiful corners of nature provide favorable conditions for the development of ecotourism and promotion of environmental education.