National Parks: Shirvan National Park
Location area: Kur-Araz plain
Area: 54 374 hectares
Fauna: gazelle, flamingo, mute swan, scaup and etc.
Landscape: wetland areas, semi-desert
Historical monument: Archeological remnants of an ancient Bandovan city
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.
Moderately warm in summer, a droughty semi-desert arid climate prevails in the area. There are no rivers and water springs here; the territory is surrounded by the Caspian Sea from the east and the General Shirvan Water Collector and several other collectors as well as the Flamingo Lake from the north which fully supply gazelles with water. The most important for gazelles is the fact that water in the Caspian, channels and lake does not freeze in wintertime.
Despite its location in a semi-desert zone the national park is rich in animals. There are a large number of mammals, reptiles and amphibians here. Up to 65 bird species inhabit the shores of the Flamingo Lake and the Caspian sea. 12 fish species occur in the Flamingo Lake and channels. The national is a habitat for the following species of animals: goitred gazelle, wild boar, beaver, wild cat, hare, wolf, jackal, fox, badger etc.
Of migratory and sedentary birds one can find here black francolin, great bustard, little bustard, mute swan, graylag goose, greater flamingo, red-breasted goose, falcon, gadwall, common coot, great white egret, little egret, grey heron, squacco heron.