Azerbaijan, the native land. Unique pictures of Azerbaijan nature are coming to file in poems of national poet Samed Vurgun:

The mountain ranges, valley sweep,

Gladden the heart till it could weep...

Glimpse of startled fawn and chamois leap

How much beauty on which to gaze

Pictures cool and steppes ablaze.

    A little area the Azerbaijan occupies on the world map, but many fairy spots we can find here. In summer at different corners of it we can observe frosts and snow; falls as well as a burnt ground under the hot sunbeams.

    These peculiarities of nature had been marked by the folk singer Ashug Alesker, creative works of which were always connected with the nature of his motherland.

    Nature of the Azerbaijan is a peculiar exhibition of beauty which calls for human enthusiasm and anxiety. The beauty vanishes without care. It doesn't like indifference and nonchalance. So it necessary to come to love for conserving it. Nature doesn't only belong to one generation. It is everlasting and belongs to all following generations. Carelessness is the great disrespect to the next generations.

    The Azerbaijan is characterized by diverse relief. Its territory is mostly occupied by mountains. And boundless plains are famous for their abundance and fertility.

    The lowermost part of its territory is the Caspian Lowland (28 m below sea level) and the highest is Bazarduzu Peak (4480 m above sea level).

    In consequence of weathering different broken-stone deposits have arised at rocky and glacial territories of highlands.

    Deep ravines and valleys appeared on the mountainous territories predetermine the further destiny or changeability of mountains. If these changes are mostly explained by the influence of natural power, at the same time they are the bitter results of human activity.

    During the rain seasons the formation of strong mudstreams is conditioned by accumulating of weathering materials at rocky and meadou zones. Peculiar relief forming processes take place at lowlands and sometimes midlands. This is the reason of arid climate here. Ravines developing is the most dangerous enemy for plains. They inflict incurable wounds upon the territories with irrigated agriculture.

    The oldest deposits (lower Pataezoic) were formed about 400 - 450 million years ago and lie at middle reaches of Zagemchai river on the territory of Azerbaijan. The age of wide-spread Jurassic and Cretaceous formations is about 130 200 million years, but the youngest Quaternary deposits (as volcano, sea, river, glacial deposits etc.) are about 600 thousand years old. The sand, shell, shingle, slit and others on the Caspian sea coasts apply also to the modern deposits.

    The territory of our republic is rich in oil, natural gas, iron, chromum, tin, cobalt, molybdenum, polymetals, alunites, rocksalt, Iceland spare and . so on.

    Azerbaijan Republic abounds in mineral springs characterized by hidrocarbon, alkaline, salt and different mercurial and radioactive waters. One group of these waters is cold, but another one is thermal (about + 60 + 70). Such springs as Badamly, Sirab, Darrydag, Turshsu, Gayaalty, Arkivan, Slavyanka, Shikhov, Surakhany, Khaltan, Khashy. Djirni have great medicinal importance. Many balneological sanatoriums are built on the base of them. Unique Naftalan oil is famous for its curative properties all over the world.

    From 11 types of climates in existence 9 types are observed on the territory of Azerbaijan (except tropical and savanna types). Lowlands are characterized by moderate-worm-steppe and semidesert types; lowmountains by cold-semidesert, dry-stepped, moderate-worm and cold types; and highmountains by tundra and mountainous types (there are also the areas with wet winter and dry summer).

    The lowermost temperature on the territory of Azerbaijan is observed at highmountains (45), but highest at inclined plain of Nakhichevan AR in Julfa (+45).

    The least amount of precepitations is observed at the southeastern Ko-bystan (below 110 mm).

    The greatest rivers in Azerbaijan are Kura, Araz (Araks), Samur, Alazan, Akera, Girdyrnanchai and others. Being mostly impetuouse and mountainous they contain rich supply of hydroenergy. The number of electric power stations has been constructed, and constructing of new stations is planned in the near future.

    Feeding sources of rivers are very different. They are mainly fed by rain-waters, melfed-snows, subsoil waters and by such lakes as Goygyol, Alagyol, Batabat and Tufan. Depending on feed sources some rivers overflow in winter (Lenkoran zone), but others in spring and autumn (Major and Minor Caucasus).

    At plains one group of lakes has fresh waters, but another has salt waters. Fresh-water lakes are situated at lowland zone not far from Kura river. Some of them are drained, but others keep their water-level at the expense of streaming down drainage waters.

    Jeyranbatan and Mingechevir water-reservoirs have great economic importance for the republic.

The land of Azerbaijan is grateful.

    The cotton-growing, grape-growing, corn-growing cultivation gardening and subtropical culture cattle-breeding are developing mostly here.

    Shollar and Lenkoran plains and Alazan-Agrichai valleys are covered by meadow and forest vegetation. Steppe vegetation (cereals, wormwood, etc.) and thin arid forests (Juniper, pine, wild pistachio, etc.) predominate on comparatively dry lowmountain territories. Broad-leaved forests grow mainly on midmountairi territories, and oak, horbeam and beech predominate there. Slopes of peaks surrounded with green meadows are almost devoided of vegetation.

Unique plants are growing on the territory of the republic. Only in Azerbaijan Eldar Pine has been kept till our days. It stood up against relief and climatic changes taking place for the last 13 million years.

    Relict forest vegetation is presented by Persian parrotia, chestnutleaved oak, zelkova and silk-tree. Such plants as Redde fern, Lenkoran onion, Ledeburg lily, Caspian saffron, Shemakha pink, etc. can be only met in our republic.

    Many medicinal herbs applicable in treatment of different disease are growing at the territory of Azerbaijan Republic.

The Azerbaijan honey is of high quality.

    The animal kingdom of the republic is very rich. 12 thousand animal kinds inhabit here. Hares, foxes, wolves, wild boars, nutrias and gazelles settled down at lowlands as well as pheasants, caucasian blackcocks and sultan-hens and ducks. Very often we can also meet grass-snakes, water-snakes and gurza.

    Low- and mid-mountains are inhabited by stags, roes, wild boars, bears, hyenas, wolves, foxes, jackals, badgers, polecats, hedges, waesels, lynxes, squirrels and moles. Besoar goats, mouflons, aurochs are carefully protected here. Such kinds of birds as pheasants, partridges, caspian snow-cocks, caucasian blackcocks are found here.

    There are the following kinds of fishes in the Caspian Sea and rivers of the Azerbaijan: beluga, salmon, kutum, sevruga, sturgeon, sheat-fish, pike, lamprey, herring etc. Unique kinds of fishes we can observe in mountain rivers.

    In Azerbaijan the first Kyzylagach State Reservation was founded on a junction of the Caspian Sea and Mugan Plain in 1929. It is the favourite winter residence for birds of passage. From different points of Asia and Europe overcome thousands kilometers numerous focks of birds come flying here for Wintering. In some years about 8 10 million of birds wintered in this reservation, among them cranes, otis tetrax, ducks, geese, swans, flamingoes, grey bitterns, pelicans and so on. The tidings about the birds wintered in Kyzylagach and Aggyol reservations come from Africa, India, England and from coasts of Mediterranean Sea and Artic Ocean.

    Shirvan State Reservation which is situated at South-Eastem shirvan is the abode of gazelles. The hares and the birds as cranes, geese, swans, otis tetrax, francolins, flamingoes and others have being protected here.

    Zakatala State Reservation founded at the same time with Kyzylagach reservation is protecting stags, chamoises, squirrels, roes, bears, mountain goats, wild boars and different kinds of birds.

    Unique beauty of emerald Goygyol lake charms everybody by its efficient. Like skilful painter the nature created these places and didn't loose sight of something. Here we can see the mountains covered by meadow carpet, thick green forests, liquid and jangling air, the smooth surface of water reflecting startled gazelles and rocky peaks of Kyapaz Mountain crowning this majestic painting.

    In order to conserve this picturesque nature Goygyol State Reservation was founded here. The caucasian stags, ulars and mountain goats are prorected on this territory.

    Eller-oyugi is a branch of Goygyol reservation. It is situated at Jeyranchel Hills occupying the territory between Kura and Cabyrry rivers. Naturally conserved the Eldar pine is carefully protected here. At the present time the cities and also dry territories of the republic are planted with it.

    In Turyanchai State Reservation strong broken down rocks are replaced by dark-green shrubs, among which unique drought-proof species of woods take place. Trees like juniper and pistachio growing in natural conditions are protected here. Such rare birds as partridges and pheasants have settled down here at the present time.

    On the east, where the forests of southern slope of the Major Caucasus melt into steppe landscape, the Pirculi State Reservation is founded. It is protecting the animal and vegetation kingdom of this region.

    On the eastern part of Lenkoran lowland between the Caspian Sea and foothills the Girkan State Reservation is situated on the territory of which we can observe unique plantsthe group of relict and endemic woods such as Persian parrotia, chestnut leaf oak, zelcova, silk-tree, Girkan box-tree etc.

    The platan (plane tree) is the most favourite wood in Azerbaijan. It has very big lop and lives about 3000 years. The platan is naturally conserved in Basutchaj State Reservation situated at Zangelan region. In order to increase its quantity the seeds of platan are gathered for recieving the seedlings in natural conditions.

Aggyol State Reservation is founded in 1978 at the space of Mil Steppe

in the region of natural Aggyol lake, which side by side with Kyzytagach reservation is protecting rare waterfowl, Karayazy State Reservation is founded for protecting the flood-plain forests in Kazakh region.

Kobustan State Reservation, being under the authority of Ministry of

    Culture of the Azerbaijan Republic, is one of the extraordinary reservations in the republic. This is the original museum in open air where we can observe rock drowing out on by ancient men for 15 million years ago. These drawings represent the life and proficiency of ancient men as well as the fauna of Kobustan. Besides the reservations the nature of Azerbaijan is protected in 16 zakazniks (type of provisional reservation) which are organized to protect the landscape of the republic.

   All measures on protection of environment and natural resources presuppose their rational utilization and increasing. All these are conducted to conserve the sources of our life air, waters, soils, vegetation and animal world.

The Azerbaijan people like and rational utilization of natural resources.

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