Azerbaijan has a rich biologic variety of flora and fauna. At present time there function 6 national parks, 13 state national nature preserves and 21 state national reserves.

National parks are areas with the status of nature protection and scientific research departments, used for conservation, education, science, culture and other purposes, which are located on the territory of special ecological, historical, aesthetic and other significant natural systems.

Shirvan National Park.

Shirvan National Park is located at the territory of Garadagh, Salyan and Heftchala regions (54,374 hectares). The park is a semi-desert landscape. 4000 hectares consist of the water basin. Ornithological fauna of the park is very diverse. On wetlands winter and live rare and valuable birds of passage (turaj, bustards, swans, etc.). The mammals fauna constitute a basis for gazelles. Shirvan National Park was initially created with the aim to protect on the brink of extinction of gazelles, which were carried out on the territory of Azerbaijan. But because of human brutality, or just carelessness population of this species has declined very sharply, they can be seen throughout the country, and by the 60th they were to be found now only in Shirvan.

Ordubad National Park.

Ordubad National Park is located in the territory of Ordubad region (12,131 hectares) of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Most of the area is mountainous. Ordubad National Park has a rich biodiversity. From listed in the "Red Book" of Azerbaijan animals, insects and plants, 58 (35 vertebrates and 20 of insects), animal species and 39 plant species live in the park. Rare and endangered fauna inhabiting the Ordubad National Park could be called the Asian leopard, mountain sheep - mouflon, bezoar goat, white-tailed sea eagle, golden eagle, and bustard.

Ag-Gel National Park.

Ag-Gel National Park is located on the territory of Agjabedi and Beylagan regions (17,924 hectares). The park is located in the Mil steppe. It has a semi-desert landscape. Because this place is the most important wintering and nesting birds in the country, it can be called "ornithological site." Ornithological fauna of Ag-Gel National Park is very diverse. Here you can find more than 140 species of birds as well. Of these, 89 species nest in the park (sultan chicken, swans, bustards and others).

The main protected objects of Ag-Gel are wetland ecosystems, which overwinter in large numbers of migratory and nesting, wetland and waterfowl. Ag-Gel is listed as a UNESCO Convention "On the wetland areas of international importance as a habitat areas for most waterfowl."

Goygol reserve in Azerbaijan.

Goygol reserve, located in the western part of Azerbaijan, was founded in 1925. The reserve is located on the territory of Khanlar region. Its total area is 7131 hectares. When you create a reserve main goal was to maintain, and in some areas to recover, mountain-forest, mountain-meadow and mountain lake natural complex.

Hirkan National Park.

Hirkan National Park is located in the territories of Lankaran and Astara regions (21,435 hectares). It protected the ancient relic and endemic plant species of the third period. Of 435 species of trees and shrubs, common in Azerbaijan, 150 are in Hirkan forests. Among them are listed in the "Red Book" of Azerbaijan Hirkan evergreen boxwood, iron tree, chestnut oak, Hirkan figs, pear Hirkan, silk tree, Caucasian persimmon, alder and others. The animals here live leopard, the Talysh pheasant, Hirkan chickadee, black stork, golden eagle and others.

To enable Hirkan forests to the list of natural and cultural heritage of  UNESCO from scientific point of view were passed to secretariat of UNESCO. Hirkan Reserve is located in the Talysh Mountains in the south-east of Azerbaijan and occupied part of the territory of Lankaran lowland, which is adjacent to the mountains. The total area of ​​the reserve is 3.1 hectares. The main purpose of this reserve was based on the fact, to keep natural complexes amazing relic subtropical forests in the unique transition zone from humid subtropical to dry.

Altyaghach National Park.

By the order of the Presidential of Azerbaijan Republic of 31 August 2004, on the administrative territory of Khizi and Siyazan regions (11,035 hectares) was created Altyaghach National Park. 90.5 percent of the area of the park is broadleaf forest. The main tree species make oak, Caucasian hornbeam, oriental beech, common ash, maple and others. The territory of park was inhabited by deer, bears, wild boars, bobcats, raccoons, foxes, hares, squirrels, wolves and others.

  Absheron National Park.

Absheron National Park is situated on the territory of the Azizbayov district of Baku (783 hectares). For the first time the park was established in July 1969 for the conservation of living on the territory of gazelles, Caspian seals and waterfowl. On the territory there dominated semi-desert climate and warm-temperate climate of the dry steppes. Here, species composition and phytomass of vegetation scarce, plants vary in accordance with the salinity areas and water distribution. Distributed coastal sand plants (42.6 percent), bog-reed meadows (13.2 percent), annual salt marshes (5.2 percent).

Ephemeras developing well in the early spring. Dry territory is inhabited by gazelles, jackals, foxes, badgers, hares, in the waters of the Caspian seals and various fish, birds silver gull, wheezing swan, coot, gray, and black ducks Red Heads, sand sandpiper, marsh harrier and other migratory birds. Animals and birds listed in the "Red Book" and living on the territory of Shirvan National Park, are found in the Absheron National Park.

 Turianchai Reserve in Azerbaijan.

      In the steppe foothills of the Greater Caucasus located Turianchai Reserve, which stretches for 12.7 hectares. The reserve was founded in 1958. Turianchai Reserve was created to preserve the unique flora species, which can be seen in the wider area of ​​the country - a large array of arid woodlands. It is of great value to scientists who study the nature of xerophytic shrubs and trees.

Turianchai Reserve is the only land in the world, where it grows naturally Eldar pine.

Photo: rocky massif of Beshbarmak