Nature of Azerbaijan

Shahdagh, Nature of Azerbaijan

Country of Nine Climates

Azerbaijan is situated on the Western Caspian coast, in the South Caucasus's east. It is an incredibly beautiful area of unique natural contrasts: 9 of 11 main climatic types of the Earth, from subtropics to alpine meadows, are represented there; the four seasons can be watched simultaneously; there is the splendid flora of humid sub-tropics and everlasting snow and glaciers of Shahdagh and Murovdagh, Gabala forests, full of spring flavors, and hot steppes of Mil, Mugan, and Shirvan, and mist and rains over tea and citrus plantations in the foothills of the Talish Mountain Range and warm"Moryana"(a shore-to-sea breeze) and the Absheron Peninsula's gusty"Khazri"( the Caspian north wind), all neighboring each other.

Highland and lowland are the dominating reliefs of there. Lowland gets expanded towards the East. The largest one is that between Rivers Kura and Araks, consisting of Plains Ganjah, Karabakh, Mil, Shirvan, Mugan, Salyan and South-Eastem Shirvan. The Caucasus-Major (Bazarduzu Mountain, 4,466 m), Side (Shahdag Mountain, 4,450 m), Niyaldag, Govdag and Gaytar-Haji Ranges stretch across the Azerbaijan part of the Caucasus Major. Through the Caucasus Minor, Heights Shahdag (Mountain Shahdag, 2,901 m), Murovdag (Gyamishdag Mountain, 3,724 m) and Karabakh (Ghizgalasi Mountain, 2,843 m) dominate as the Caucasus Minor's relief.

In the South-West, the Talish Mountains neighbor the Talish Mountain Range, which Mountains Ghizyurdu (2,483 m) and Ghemurchay (2,477 m) rise in the watershed of.

The Azerbaijan land is densely cut through by numerous, mainly highland, rivers, most of which have noisy mountain-echoing waterfalls such as Afurji (River Velvelichay), Ghirintov and Sariguney (River Gurmuhchay), Mighi (River Damiraparanchay) etc.

Azerbaijan's nature, represented by deserts and, in contrast, by relict woods, endlessly astonishes a traveller. Azerbaijan's flora is rich and versatile; its brightness and colorfulness resemble an enormous national carpet. There are more than 4,100 plant species including endemics (Talish Lily, Garabakh Tulip, Caspian Saffron, Iris Camillae etc.).

Highland and plain lakes, whose total number approximately equals 250, such as Tufan (the Caucasus Major), Alagellar, Gey-Gel, Maralgel, Zeligel, Karagel (the Caucasus Minor) truly adorn the Azerbaijan land.

Azerbaijan's fauna is notable for the same richness and variety: more than 12,000 species populate the country. Goitered gazelles, wild boars, wolves, foxes, hares, coypu rats, pheasants, ducks, bald-coots ("kashkaldak"), and Sultan chickens inhabit the area. Deer, roe deer, wild boars, brown Caucasian bears, lynxes, wolves and, somewhere, leopards are typical for lowland and midland. The Bezoar, mouflon, ibex and others populate the highland, the birds being represented by pheasants, partridges, stone partridges, francolins, Caspian snow cocks and Caucasian blackcocks.

The country appears to decline towards the Caspian Sea, where all rivers of Azerbaijan flow. Some of them enter the Kura, the country's main one, while others do into the Araks, which is the Kura's largest tributary. The largest lake in the world (about 400 square km of water surface), the Caspian Sea is unique in terms of its origins and biological resources.

The sturgeon, stellate sturgeon, beluga, salmon, kutum, shemaya, herring, lamprey, sheatfish, pike, chub, and others populate in the Caspian Sea and deltas of rivers inflowing.

Not only is Azerbaijan a country of ancient history and culture, but also of popular traditions, their roots into the deep of past centuries. Along with traditions of carpet-weaving, stone-carving, copper-engraving, silk-cloth production and embroidery, traditions of sport contests have been maintained and passed from generation to generation such as those of gulesh (Azeri wrestling), chovgan (horse polo), and chidir (horse racing). It is the same ancient past where traditions of hunting and fishing have reached our days from, closely connected to features of Azerbaijan's climate, flora and fauna and the Azerbaijan hunter's mentality and moral code.