Altyn-Emel National Park

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Altyn-Emel National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Altynemel dune.jpg
Singing Sand Dune in Altyn-Emel National Park
Map showing the location of Altyn-Emel National Park
Map showing the location of Altyn-Emel National Park
LocationAlmaty Region Kazakhstan
Coordinates44°20′0″N 78°26′0″E / 44.33333°N 78.43333°E / 44.33333; 78.43333Coordinates: 44°20′0″N 78°26′0″E / 44.33333°N 78.43333°E / 44.33333; 78.43333
Area460 000 ha
EstablishedApril 10, 1996

Altyn-Emel National Park (Kazakh: Алтынемел саябағы, Altynemel saıabaǵy) is a national park in Kazakhstan. It was created in 1996.[1] The park covers about 4600 square kilometers between the Ili River and the Ak-Tau mountain range, near Lake Kapchagai, and consists mostly of desert and rocky terrain.[2]

Features[edit]

Altyn Emel - Aktau
Steppe in Altyn-Emel National Park

Altyn-Emel National Park is located in the Ili River Valley, Kazakhstan. It comprises various landscapes, including sand desert, mountains, and flora. The park was founded on April 10, 1996, with the objective to preserve a natural park complex, as well as archaeological and historical monuments. It is the largest reserve in Kazakhstan and part of UNESCO's world heritage.

Located within the park, the Bes-Shatir is a historical monument of Saco mounds. The burial mounds date back to the Iron Age (the VII-VI centuries BC), and were built by the nomads of Central Asian steppes. Objects found within the burial mounds include gold-plated trappings, gold adornments and utensils, weapons and armor.

Another prominent feature of the area are the Aktay mountains. The Aktay mountains are also referred to as the "lunar mountains" on account of their particular colors.[3][4]

The Singing Dunes[edit]

The "Singing Dunes" are located 300 kilometers from Almaty national park. The area is referred to as The "Singing Dunes" on account of the rumbling sound emitting from the sand. The Singing Barchan dune which is 1.5 km long and 120m high. The barchan is a crescent in form, which fact makes it beauty unique. When the wind is blowing from the West dispersing the sands, one has a feeling that the pipe organ is playing in the heart of the desert. Up to now this phenomenon is still a riddle of the nature, but the scientists suppose that in hot dry weather the sand gets electrified due to friction and creates a certain sonic vibration. None of those who once heard the barchans singing will ever forget this phenomenon.[5]

Flora and Fauna[edit]

The park serves to preserve rare and endangered plant and animal species. The flora of the Park includes 1800 plant species, including 69 rare species. Also, 56 animal species within the park are considered rare, including argali, dziggetai, Persian gazelle. Not counting insects and fish, at least 260 different animals live in Altyn Emel. There are endangered amphibians including the Siberian toad and rare and endangered birds including black stork and imperial eagle. Of 78 species of mammals, 11 are recorded in the Red Book of Kazakhstan, including stone marten, polecat, otter, manul (wild cat), wild ass, gazelle, argali, Asian barbastelle bat, Bukhara deer, lynx and Tien Shan brown bear. Kulan, goitered gazelle and Przewalski horses also live in the park.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ State National Natural Park "Altyn-Emel" UNESCO
  2. ^ Altyn-Emel National Park Bird Life International
  3. ^ "Разноцветные горы Актау: красочные ландшафты Казахстана". Travel.ru. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  4. ^ "Paleokazakhstan - Катутау". paleokazakhstan.info. Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  5. ^ Singing Dune Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine STeK
  6. ^ "Altyn Emel National Park". Caravanistan.

External links[edit]