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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Turkmenistan

Geography

Turkmen Geography - Landscape
Landscape

Turkmenistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. It borders the Caspian Sea to its west, but this sea has no ocean access so is arguably a large lake. Turkmenistan's land borders include Iran to the south, Afghanistan to the southeast, Uzbekistan to the northeast, and Kazakhstan to the north.

Most of Turkmenistan is desert, as the flat Kara Kum Desert occupies almost the entire country. The most hospitable regions of the country are in the south along the borders with Iran and Afghanistan, where some rivers flow.

Weather

Turkmen Geography - Mountain road
Mountain road

Turkmenistan has a continental climate, but doesn't have the hot or cold extremes that other countries experience. The winters regularly get below freezing, particularly in the north and during evenings, but Ashgabat averages 30-50° F (-1-10° C) for daily lows and highs during the winter months of November to February. When the country does receive rain, which isn't common, it tends to be during the winter months. Summers tend to be long, hot, and arid as they arrive in about May and continue on to September. Ashgabat averages about 95° F (35° C) during the summer months during the day, but nights dip to about 75° F (24° C). Spring and falls (autumns) tend to shift between these two extremes with less predictability from year to year and even week to week.

Wildlife

Turkmenistan's wildlife is limited to what can survive in the primarily deserted country, but there are more species than one would imagine. Most of the mammals present include the hedgehog, fox, squirrel, and wolf. There is little sea life as there are few lakes or rivers so most of the sea life is limited to the Caspian Sea, where there are thousands of fish and shellfish including the sturgeon.

Turkmenistan is home to thousands of birds, many of which migrate through the country. Of the birds, there are many jays, buzzards, sparrows, reels, eagles, vultures, and more. There are few amphibians in the country and only a few more reptiles, although among those are snakes and lizards. There are also numerous smaller animals, including spiders and many insects like ants and mosquitoes.

This page was last updated: November, 2013