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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Tajikistan

Geography

Tajik Geography - Lake Karakul
Lake Karakul

Tajikistan is a small landlocked country in Central Asia. This mountainous country shares borders with Uzbekistan to the west, Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, and Kyrgyzstan to the north.

Tajikistan is dominated by the Pamir Mountains, which lie in their east. Beyond this though, there are various other mountain ranges running throughout the country. In the country's north is the Fergana Valley, which is the most fertile and livable region in the country.

Weather

Tajikistan has temperature and weather extremes in just about every direction. Winters in the mountains only average about 0° F (-17° C), while the southwestern desert is generally much warmer. The heavily populated Fergana Valley averages about 32-38° F (0-3° C) during these winter months of November to February. Winters also tend to get a fair amount of rain and snow, at least relative to the other Central Asian countries, which are primarily desert. Summers get hot in the valleys, but not unbearably and the mountains are quite nice during this season. In the desert temperatures average 81° F (27° C) with summer days getting much hotter, the average in the valleys is about 72-86° F (22-30° C), and the average temperature in the Pamir Mountains is a cool 50° F (10° C) or lower. The springs and falls (autumns) shift between these two extremes and can be less predictable.

Wildlife

Despite Tajikistan's small size, the country has impressive wildlife diversity. In the high mountains a number of animals, primarily birds and mammals find a home. Among the mammals, both in and out of the mountains are marmots, goats, bears, foxes, boars, antelopes, and ibex. Sea life is less diverse as the land-locked country only has these animals in their lakes and rivers and these fish are limited to fresh water species like carp, trout, and bream.

The bird life in the country is quite impressive, although many of these birds only pass through on their migratory routes. Among them are vultures, owls, hawks, eagles, geese, swans, and partridges. The amphibian and reptilian life is quite limited as lizards, turtles, snakes are the most common. There are many other animals like insects, scorpions, and spiders.

This page was last updated: November, 2013