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The Ustyurt Plateau, also spelled Ust-Yurt, Ust-Urt and Usturt (Kazakh: U'stirt; Turkmen: Üstyurt), is a central Asian plateau in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, lying between the Aral Sea and the Amu Darya (river) delta in the east and the Mangyshlak (Tupqarghan) Plateau and the Kara-Bogaz-Gol (Garabogazköl; an inlet of the Caspian Sea) in the west. It extends roughly 200,000 km² (77,000 square miles), with an average elevation of 150 meters (about 500 feet), and consists primarily of stony desert. Its highest point rises to a maximum of 1,200 feet (365 m) in the south-west.
The plateau's semi-nomadic population raises sheep, goats, and camels. At its edges it drops steeply to the Aral Sea and the surrounding plain. Oil and natural-gas deposits lie west of the plateau. Asiatic cheetahs and Caspian tigers used to live there.
Kazakhstan created the Ustyurt Nature Reserve (223,300 hectares) in July, 1984 in the south of Mangystausky district in Eralievsky region. It preserves rare fauna and flora such as the Ustyurt Mountain sheep and the Saiga antelope. Among its features are Sherkala Mountain and the concretions found in the Torysh ('Valley of Balls') near the town of Shetpe.
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- "The Ustyurt Plateau". Advantour. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- "Ustyurt Plateau". VisitUzbekistan. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- "Ustyurtsky state natural reserve". Welcome to Kazakhstan. Silk Tour agency. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- "Ustyurt Nature Reserve, Kazakhstan". Advantour. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Hundreds of desert kites in the Ustyurt. Nat. Geographic
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