Wildlife and tourism in Tajikistan

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Home Wildlife monitoring

Wildlife monitoring

Wildlife monitoring is one main activity: in collaboration with local communities, hunting managers, national and international experts, we perform intensive monitoring and try to develop awareness about the need for such a regular monitoring, in order to stabilize the wild ungulates populations in Tajikistan.

The assessment of the conditions of wildlife populations and understanding their changes over time are important requirements for any sustainable wildlife management and in particular for the regulation of their utilization. For updating and completing the available knowledge the project involves young scientists from the Institute for Zoology and Parasitology and from the Pamir Biological Institute, both belonging to the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan and from the Tajik State National University Dushanbe. Assessment and monitoring approaches have been developed and tested. The instruction on surveys and monitoring of mountain ungulates has been elaborated in a joint working group of scientists and specialists from the nature protection and forestry agencies and has been officially approved by the Scientific-technical Council of the Commite for Environmental Protection under the Government of Tajikistan.


In addition to the scientific user-independent assessments and monitoring the project supports the development of user-based monitoring by the local managers of conservancies and hunting areas. Joint surveys have been conducted by the project experts together with local managers and informal hunters in all areas. In most conservancy areas surveys are carried out annually. The results of these surveys showed - with some fluctuations of counted animals cuased by weather circumstances during the surveys - positive trends of Asiatic ibex and Marco Polo sheep populations in the community-based conservancies.

(c) S. Michel

In December 2009 a large survey on Marco Polo sheep, ibex and other species has been conducted by the Committee for Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, financially supported by GIZ. The survey was organized and technically guided by the project team. Within ten days six survey teams each consisting of specialists from the Committee on Environmental Protection and its subordinated structures, scientists, game managers from hunting concessions and project experts surveyed a total area of about 8,174 km² covering a significant proportion of the Marco Polo sheep’s winter habitats. The survey teams in total observed more than twenty thousand Marco Polo sheep and more than two thousand ibex as well as one snow leopard, one lynx and about fifty wolves. A similar large scale survey in early 2015 and localized surveys in 2013 and 2016 confirmed the stable population numbers of Marco Polo Sheep in most of the hunting concessions and the positive role of some cincessionaire's protection systems for the conservation of Marco Polo sheep.

Large scale surveys, covering most of the available habitat of markhor in Shuroabad and Darvaz districts took place in late winter/early spring of 2012, 2014 and 2016. These surveys showed minimum number of markhor in the surveyed areas of 1,018, 1,300 and 1,450 (only areas of three organizations covered), respectively. These are more of these until recently globally endangered goats than ever recorded and proof of the outstanding conservation impact of the participants of the Tajikistan Mountain Ungultes Project!

For the storage and analysis of the project’s growing amount of observation data on wildlife with assistance by a consultant provided by GIZ a “Wildlife Information System” has been under developed. The system is ibased on freeware GIS and data base software (so far PostgreSQL 8.4 database (DBMS), with its spatial extension, PostGIS1.4) and Qgis, for data entry OpenOffice Base through the data base mask and for analysis OpenOffice Calc). The system as well serves the exchange of data with the institutes of the Academy of Sciences and with state nature protection and forestry agencies.

In the download section several survey reports and articles are available.