Repetek Preserve

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Repetek Preserve


a preserve in the central part of the eastern Karakum, 70 km south of the city of Chardzhou. Area, 34,600 hectares (1974). The Repetek Preserve was organized in 1928 from the Repetek Sand Research Station, which had been founded in 1912. It was established for the purposes of preserving and studying a natural desert environment.

The climate of the Repetek Preserve is among the hottest in the USSR. The maximum temperature is 50°C, and the average annual precipitation is 114 mm. The preserve has ridgy, hummocky, alveolate, and pitted sand dunes. Its vegetation is typical of Karakum as a whole and includes white saxaul (Haloxylon persicum), black saxaul (Haloxylon amphyllum), Calligonum, Salsola, Ephedra strobilacea, sand acacia (Ammodendron karelinii), Eremosparton, three-awn grass (Aristida pennata and Aristida pennata var. karelinii), sand sedge, drooping brome, Eminium lehmannii, peacock poppy, Dorema ammoniacum, Cistanche flava, Rheum turkestanicum, desert candle, and annual saltworts.

The preserve’s animal life is extremely diverse. There are more than 1,000 insect species, including beetles, butterflies, moths, true bugs, and ants. Common reptiles include 13 lizard species (Phrynocephalus, Agama, Eremias, Gekkonidae, Varanus) and eight snake species (Echis, Taphrometoron, Eryx, Coluber). The tortoise Testudo horsfieldi is found in the preserve.

Of the 196 species of birds in the preserve, approximately 30 nest there and 12 are sedentary. The sedentary species include the Pander’s ground jay, desert sparrow (Passer simplex), saxaul sparrow (Passer ammodendri), Bukhara tit (Paras major bokharensis), little owl, white-winged woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucopterus), and brown-necked raven.

There are 20 mammal species, with a predominance of rodents (great gerbil, Meriones meridianus, long-clawed ground squirrel, comb-toed jerboa, northern three-toed jerboa, Cape hare). Common mammals are the long-eared hedgehog, piebald shrew, weasel, tiger weasel, Felis libyca, sand cat, caracal lynx, and goitered gazelle.


Zapovedniki Sovetskogo Soiuza. [Moscow, 1969.]
Rustamov, A. K. Repetekskii zapovednik. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.