Nature of Azerbaijan
The Sun, sky, air, water, flora, fauna, and human itself are parts of nature. Nature has 2 types: animate (plants, mushrooms, animals, human being) and inanimate (the Sun, stars, air, water, stones). Every citizen of our republic should know and love its nature.
2 big rivers run through Azerbaijan – Kur and Araz. The relief of our country is complicated and comprises of the mountain systems (Major Caucasus in the north, Minor Caucasus in the west and southwest and Talysh Mountains in the southeast) and Kur-Araz Lowland. The highest peak in Azerbaijan is Bazarduzu (4466m) in Shahdagh. Azerbaijan takes the first place in the world for the number and diversity of mud volcanoes. The climate in Azerbaijan is mostly influenced by the geographical position, landscape and Caspian Sea, the biggest stagnant lake in the world. According to V.V.Keppen, out of 11 climate zones existing in the world Azerbaijan accounts for 9: semi desert, dry steppe, subtropical, moderately warm with dry summer, cold with dry winter, cold with dry summer, moderately warm with equal distribution of sediment, cold with plentiful sediment, mountainous tundra.
Azerbaijan has rich flora, which embraces iron tree, Lankaran acacia, chestnut-leaf oak, Oriental persimmon, box tree, Eldar pine, and etc. 140 kinds of plants are in the Red Book. Because of the occupation of 20% of our territory by Armenia, Eastern plane tree in Basitchay Reserve in Zangilan district has completely been destroyed.
Thanks to the diverse nature, Azerbaijan enjoys a rich animal kingdom. The fauna of the republic is represented by a great number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and so on. 108 species of animal (14 species of mammal, 36 species of bird, 13 species of reptile and amphibian, 5 species of fish, 40 species of insect) are in the Red Book of Azerbaijan.
To safeguard the national flora and fauna, public reserves and national parks have been set up in the republic. The country has 6 national parks (Hirkan, Shirvan, Aghgol, Ordubad, Absheron, Altyaghaj) and 12 reserves (Basitchay, Garayazi, Garagol, Goy-Gol, Gyzylaghaj, Ilisu, Ismayilly, Pirgulu, Turyanchay, Zagatala, Eldar Shamy (Pine), Shahbuz, Shirvan).
Caspian Sea is of great importance for the Azerbaijani people. Caspian seal, the only mammal aquatic animal, is the smallest one in the world and has been included in the Red Book.
The territory of Azerbaijan is rich in minerals. Information on the existence of oil in Absheron Peninsula dates back to 5000 years ago. There are iron, aluminum, mercury, gold, copper, lead, zinc, cobalt, manganese, and molybdenum ores in the country.
The country possesses mineral waters with different chemical ingredients. For this reason, Azerbaijan is called ‘the museum of mineral waters’. Istisu (Kalbajar), Badamly and Sirab (Nakhchyvan) are famous beyond Azerbaijan. Mineral waters in Surakhany and Zygh in Absheron, Galaalty in Shabran district, Turshsu in Julfa district have medical features. Thermal waters dominate the Talysh Mountains and southern and northeastern slopes of Major Caucasus.