Tigrovaia Balka

Tigrovaia Balka

 

a nature preserve on the lower Vakhsh River in the Tadzhik SSR. Tigrovaia Balka, which covered an area of 52,200 hectares in 1975, was established in 1938 for the protection of the tugai region of the Vakhsh River and surrounding desert lands. Tugai vegetation is represented in forests of Euphrates poplar and thickets of Babylonian willow and tamarisk. A considerable area is covered with dense, continuous thickets of rushes, growing to a height of 4–5 m, and eryanthus, growing to a height of 5–6 m.

Typical animals found in the preserve are the Turkestan deer (Cervus elaphus bactrianus), jungle cat, golden jackal, cape hare, and pheasant. The goitered gazelle and bustard are found in the desert parts of the preserve. Cobras, Levantine vipers, and saw-scaled vipers are also common. Sheatfish, carp, barbel, and roach inhabit numerous oxbow lakes. In the winter there are many waterfowl. Tigrovaia Balka was once inhabited by the Turkestan tiger (Felis tigris virgata), footprints of which were last found in 1971.

REFERENCE

Zapovedniki Sovetskogo Soiuza. Moscow, 1969.