Issyk Kul

The central Tien-Shan mountain region around the Issyk-Kul lake is an area one of the last harmonic cultural landscapes in the middle Asia preserving habitats close to nature in combination with traditional culture.

Declaration date: 2001
Surface area: 4,311,588 ha
Administrative division: subject of Kyrgyz, Republic Issyk-Kul region  

Human Activities

Industrial emission from mining, livestock, agriculture, tourism and hunting activities. 

Ecological Characteristics

The central Tien-Shan mountain region around the Issyk-Kul lake is an area one of the last harmonic cultural landscapes in the middle Asia preserving habitats close to nature in combination with traditional culture.

The mountain area of the central Tien-Shan region with the Issyl-Kul lake in its center is home to many ecosystems of global importance and has a wide variety of endemic species of wild fauna and flora.

The Issyk-Kul Lake with its 180 km length and 60 km width is the second biggest high mountain lake in the world. Because of its depth of 700 meters, its low salinity and because of warm water sources it even in the winter never freezes.

Starting from the lake shore all significant landscapes from the sub-tropical to tundra can be found in an azonal order.

The fauna of reserve characterized by high species diversity and unequal distribution on different landscapes. There are 335 species of animals: Amphibia – 3 species; Reptiles- 11 species; Mammalia- 54 species; Birds- 267 species. 39 species included in Red Book of Kyrgyzstan.

The main objective of the governments development of ecologically sound land use practice and economic activities in this area.

Protection classifications

The core area of biosphere reserve is government protected nature area ‘Biosphere reserve Issyk-Kul’ organized by the Decree of Government Kyrgyz Republic #23 from 25 September1998.


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                                                                                         Last updated in July 2011

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