Tajikistan, officially the Republic of Tajikistan, is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and People's Republic of China to the east. Tajikistan also lies adjacent to Pakistan but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. Most of Tajikistan's population belongs to the Tajik ethnic group, who share culture and history with the Iranian peoples and speak the Persian language (officially referred to as Tajiki in Tajikistan). Once part of the Samanid Empire, Tajikistan became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, known as the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (Tajik SSR).
After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly-established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow. Trade in commodities such as cotton and aluminium wire has contributed greatly to this steady improvement, but lack of natural resources (besides hydroelectric power and strategic location) has hampered its economic recovery.
Tajikistan is the smallest nation in Central Asia by area. It is covered by mountains of the Pamir range, and more than fifty percent of the country is over 3,000 meters (approx. 10,000 ft) above sea level. The only major areas of lower land are in the north (part of the Fergana Valley), and in the southern Kofarnihon and Vakhsh river valleys, which form the Amu Darya. Dushanbe is located on the southern slopes above the Kofarnihon valley.
The Amu Darya and Panj rivers mark the border with Afghanistan, and the glaciers in Tajikistan's mountains are the major source of runoff for the Aral Sea. There are over 900 rivers in Tajikistan longer than 10 kilometers. About 1% of the country's area is covered by lakes.
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Number of Species
Number of bird species: 343
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Birds of Central Asia
Birds of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan
By Raffael Ayé, Manuel Schweizer & Tobias Roth with contributions from Arend Wassink, illustrated by Dave Nurney , Per Alström, Adam Bowley, Carl D'Silva, Kim Franklin, John Gale, Alan Harris, Ren Hathway, Christopher Schmidt, Brian Small, Jan Wilczur, Tim Worfolk & MartWoodcock | Christopher Helm | Paperback | Oct 2012 | 336 pages | 141 plates with colour illustrations | 14 colour photos | 5 black & white illustrations | 3 colour maps | colour distribution maps
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ISBN: 9780713670387Buy this book from NHBS.com
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1997 [May] - David Murdoch
I was working for an aid agency, one of the few ways in which westerners would be able to visit the country at present. Unfortunately, I was slaving at least six days a week; relaxation birdwatching was not high on the agenda and much of my birding was done from fast cars with rare stops. However, I did spend a lot of time travelling, repeating the same journeys again and again, and the data from these journeys can be compared…
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Checklist Birds of Tajikistan