Zangazur National Park was created on 25 November 2009 in an area of 42797,4 hectares on the base of Ordubad National Park named after Academician Hasan Aliyev and Shahbuz State Nature Reserve in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. It was named after Academician Hasan Aliyev who is considered as a founder of ecology in Azerbaijan.
Adjoining to the National Park is Ordubad State Nature Sanctuary with an area of 27870 hectares.
The objective pursued in the creation of Zangazur National Park was to protect different components of the area which has a distinctive climate, terrain and other physical geographical features as well as various animal species including endemics and species of fauna that are typical to this area. The park is also charged with the task to facilitate environmental monitoring and promote education and tourism.
Zangazur range of mountains reaching 3200 meters on average is the highest range of the Lesser Caucasus. The highest peak of the range making 3906 meters is located in the National Park.
The last third part of the Zangazur range is Soyug Dagh (Cold Mountain) which also belongs to the National Park’s area. The height of Soyug Dagh varies within a range of 2000 to 3000 meters. This part of the mountain slopes down for 12 km to south and west. It vomprises steep slopes with precipices and narrow spring valleys. Eroded rocks are widespread here. In Soyuq Dagh, ancient glacial relief declines and finally disappears downwards.
Zangazur National Park is a mountainous area. Its climate is generally cold characterized by dry summer. The mean temperature is -30 C to -100 C in January and -100 C -250 C in July. The annual precipitation is 300-800 mm. The watercourse network of the region is composed of Gilanchay, Vanadchay, Duylunchay, Aylishchay, Ganzachay, Kotamchay, Kilitchay and Ordubadchay rivers. They are fed by rains and melting snow. The Araz River forms the border with Iran. The landscape of the area varies in type. Mainly, dull brown, grassland dull brown, alluvial grassland, mountainous forest, turf-type mountainous grassland terrains prevail in the area.
Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is distinguished place in Azerbaijan for the richness of its ornitofauna. There are 217 bird species and subspecies in the region of which 15 species are listed in the Red Data Book. These are Levant sparrowhawk, great white pelican, dalmation pelican, white-tailed eagle, lammergeyer, short-toed eagle, great bustard, little bustards and other birds.
Six species of amphibians occur in the area of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
These are syrian agama, green toad, common tree frog, short-legged marsh frog, Caucasian frog and small Asian frog. Of these seven amphibians four are found in the area of the Zangazur National Park which is Syrian agama, green toad, common tree frog, short-legged marsh frog. Syrian agama has been listed in the Red Data Book of Azerbaijan as endangered species.
Thirty eight species and subspecies of reptiles are found in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Of them five are turtles, twelve species and sub-species of snakes. Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise, Caucasian pit viper, Trans-Caucasian rat snake are all under protection and listed in the Red Data Book.
Sixty two mammal species and subspecies occur in Nakhchivan. Thirty two of them are found in the Zangazur National Park and Ordubad State Nature Sanctuary. These are blazilius horseshoe bat, southern horseshoe bat, porcupine, manul, bezoar goat, Caucasian muflon to mention a few.
The park is a habitat for a number carnivorous animal such as: leopard, wolf, jackal, fox, stripped hyena, badger, wild cat and other predators numbering 12 species in total.
Zangazur National Park is also rich in rare plants, 77 grow in the Park’s area. Iris elegantissima, Himantoglossum formosum, Dorema glabrum and other plants can be found here.
Along with the diverse flora and fauna the Zangazur National Park is the place where there are a lot of natural and historical monuments.