Fauna of Azerbaijan
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Azerbaijan - Salyan road: camel (photo by F.MacLachlan / Travel-Images.com)In the arid and semiarid lowlands a large portion of the animal life is reptilian, though in the mountains, goats, deer, lynx, bear, wolves, foxes, raccoons, weasels, marten, hedgehogs, shrews, badgers and wild boar are found. Azerbaijan has over 12,000 animal species. There are gazelles (Jeyran) on the coastal plains, and camels in the Kura plain. 

Sheki, Azerbaijan: tortoise on the outskirts of the town - photo by F.MacLachlanSome 40 of rodents live in the country, including jerboas, squirrels, voles, jirds, mice, hamsters and the Indian Porcupine (Hystrix indica) porcupines in the Talysh forests south of Lenkoran. Bats are everywhere, with 30 species living in Azerbaijan. There are 52 species of reptiles in the country, most of these species are found in semi-desert areas in Shamakhi and Nakhchivan. Amphibians are less common, only 10 species.

Azerbaijan - Altyaghach National Park, Xizi rayon: East Caucasian Tur - Capra cylindricornis - wild goat - Cennet Baghi resort - Altyaghaj - Altiagac - photo by N.MahmudovaAzerbaijan is home to a rare species of leopard found only in remote areas of the southern Caucasus Mountains and currently facing extinction (Caucasus Leopard / Panthera pardus ciscaucasica). The WWF considers it the most critically endangered species in the Caucasus Ecoregion. The species is threatened by poachers who kill the animals and sell their highly-prized skins on the black market.

Azerbaijan - Salyan rayon: Shirvan National Reserve / Shirvan Nature Reserve / Shirvan National Park / Sirvan dövlat qorugu - Goitered Gazelle, aka Jeyran - Jeiran - Gazella subgutturosa at the entrance - fauna - wildlife of the Caucasus - photo by F.MacLachlanThe southern part of the country used to have tigers, but the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) is now almost certainly since the 1970s, in spite of some alleged sightings. Striped hyenas can occasionally be spotted in the warm areas.

There are 363 species of birds, from about 60 families. Around 40% of the bird species are resident. One of the most inspiring bird specie is the Golden Eagle which inhabits mainly mountainous areas such as Nakhichevan. If you love bird watching, head south: over 200 species of birds be seen in the Kizilagach / Kizilagadj Reserve (in the Lenkoran lowlands).

sturgeon - photo Travel-images.comThe waters of the Caspian are abundant in sturgeon (four fifths of the world's sturgeon are found here - although stocks are dwindling due to over fishing), along with herring, salmon, the rare pike perch and other less important species. The Caspian sea's only marine mammal, the Caspian seal (Phoca caspica), is now almost completely gone from the Azeri coast.

Azerbaijan - Altyaghach National Park, Xizi rayon: forest and watch tower - Altyaghaj - Altiagac - photo by N.MahmudovaNational Parks of Azerbaijan
    * Ordubad National Park
    * Shirvan National Park
    * Ag-Gol National Park
    * Hirkan National Park
    * Altyaghach National Park
    * Absheron National Park

State Reserves of Azerbaijan
    * Goy-Gol State Reserve
    * Gyzylaghadj State Reserve
    * Zagatala State Reserve
    * Turyanchay State Reserve
    * Pirgulu State Reserve
    * Azerbaijan - Salyan rayon: Shirvan National Reserve / Shirvan Nature Reserve / Shirvan National Park / Sirvan dövlat qorugu - Goitered Gazelle, aka Jeyran - Jeiran - Gazella subgutturosa at the entrance (photo by F.MacLachlan)Shirvan State Reserve
    * Besitchay State Reserve
    * Qarayazy State Reserve
    * Ismayilly State Reserve
    * Qaragol State Reserve
    * Ilisu State Reserve
    * Shahbuz State Reserve
    * Eldar pine-tree State Reserve

State Game Reserves of Azerbaijan
Major Caucasus:
    * State Game Reserve of Shaki
    * State Game Reserve of Qusar
    * State Game Reserve of Qabala
    * State Game Reserve of Ismailly
    * State Game Reserve of Qakh

Minor Caucasus:
    * State Game Reserve of Qubadly
    * State Game Reserve of Lachyn
    * State Game Reserve of Dashalty
    * State Game Reserve of Qyzyldja
    * State Game Reserve of Arazboyu

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