Animals and Plants
What is growing in Kyrgyzstan?
Much of the landscape of Kyrgyzstan is steppe. Only grass and no trees grow there. Only 4 percent of the country’s area is covered by forest. Nevertheless, the country in the Jalalabad region has the largest walnut forest in the world. Most trees grow between 1,500 and 4,000 meters. Further down there are more deciduous trees, further up there are more conifers. There are a total of 120 tree and shrub species.
Which animals live in Kyrgyzstan?
Of course, mountain animals also live in a land of mountains. The Marco Polo sheep, which belongs to the wild sheep and is also called Tianshan Argali, can still be found in the high areas. It has numerous enemies, including the now rare snow leopard. But wolves, brown bears and lynxes also hunt the sheep. Other animal inhabitants of Kyrgyzstan are marmots, ibex, foxes and wild boars.
And who is the manul?
The manul is a small wild cat. He has short legs, which makes him look very stocky. Its thick, long fur protects it in the long, cold and snowy winters. During the day he sleeps in crevices or caves, at night he goes hunting. He likes, for example, pipe bunnies and mice.
Are there birds too?
Of course, birds also fly through Kyrgyzstan. In the mountains, for example, you can see many birds of prey. Black kites are found as well as griffon vultures and several species of eagles and hawks. Mountain finches, redstart, partridges and bullfinches are other fluttering companions in Kyrgyzstan. The Shepherd Maina are immigrating more and more from India. She belongs to the starlings. You can find a photo of her in the slideshow below.
Like the other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan has to contend with major environmental pollution. For example, uranium and mercury mines have left contaminated soil. Artificial irrigation and over-fertilization have led to the desiccation and salinisation of soils. More and more soil for agriculture is being lost through erosion. This happens, for example, through overgrazing.
Gold from Kyrgyzstan
According to itypeusa, Kyrgyzstan’s economy is based on mining and agriculture. Despite the presence of some mineral resources, many of them are not mined. By contrast, oil and natural gas, which are in demand in other countries, are rarely found. Gold is the natural resource that brings the country the greatest income from exports. Unfortunately, gold mining is wreaking havoc on the environment and destroys glaciers. Mercury, uranium and antimony are also exported.
In contrast to the other Central Asian countries, Kyrgyzstan does not suffer from a lack of water. In this way, hydropower plants generate almost all of the electricity the country needs. In good years it can still sell some of it.
Industry generates almost a third of the total output (31 percent). It is mainly located in the north of the country, near Bishkek and on the border with Russia. Clothing, shoes, groceries, refrigerators, furniture and motors are manufactured.
Apricots from Kyrgyzstan
Almost half of all employees work in agriculture, but only about 15 percent of the entire economy. Agriculture is mainly practiced in the south and in the Ferghana Valley, i.e. in the west of the country. Sheep, cattle and goats are kept in the mountains.
Apricots, grapes, tomatoes, apples and melons are grown for export. Most farmers, however, practice subsistence farming. Wheat, potatoes and vegetables can be found in their fields.
Poverty in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a poor country. Bad infrastructure, corruption, drug trafficking, the inland location and the inaccessible and inhospitable mountain landscape are reasons for this. Around 32 percent of the population live in poverty, 3 percent are considered very poor. Many Kyrgyz people work abroad, especially in Russia and Kazakhstan, because of the lack of jobs in the country. They send money home to support their relatives there.