Plant and animal life
Uzbekistan’s mixed topography provides divergent wildlife habitats. In the steppes the endangered saiga antelope can be found, as well as roe deer, wolves, foxes, and badgers. The desert monitor, a large lizard that can reach lengths of 1.6 m (5 ft), thrives in the Qyzylqum desert, along with a type of gazelle and a number of rodent species. The river deltas are home to wild boars, jackals, and deer, with a variety of pink deer living in the Amu Darya delta. The Turan (or Caspian) tiger is now extinct: The last one was killed in the Amu Darya delta in 1972. The endangered snow leopard, which has long been hunted illegally for its prized fur, lives in the eastern mountains. The mountains also are home to several types of mountain goat, including the Alpine ibex (characterized by enormous, back-curving horns), as well as lynx, wild boars, wolves, and brown bears.
A number of bird species are native to the steppes, including ring-necked pheasants, black grouse, partridges, falcons, and hawks. Eagles and lammergeyers (a type of vulture) nest in the mountainous regions, preying on marmots and mouse hares. Ducks, geese, and other birds migrate through the marshes of the Ustyurt plateau.
Plant life is equally diverse. Drought-resistant grasses and low shrubs cover the steppes, except in areas that have been cleared for crop cultivation. Ancient walnut-tree forests are located in the lower mountains, whereas spruce, larch, and juniper thrive in the higher elevations. Elm and poplar trees grow along riverbanks, along with dense stands of brush called tugai.
Only 11 percent of the land in Uzbekistan is arable. The richest farmland is found in the river valleys and the alluvial plains at mountain bases. Uzbekistan contains significant mineral wealth. Deposits of gold, uranium, silver, copper, zinc, coal, lead, tungsten, and molybdenum are mined. Uzbekistan also harbors large reserves of oil and natural gas.
Aral Sea is salty lake- sea in Central Asia, on the border Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. To the middle of the 20th century it was the fourth in the world, for the area, occupying about 68 thousand km, but since 1960 the surface of it begin decrease with the quick rates, because of the fence of water from the basic feeding rivers Amu-Darya and Syrdarya for the purpose of irrigation.
At the beginning of the 1990s the lake was decomposed in two isolated reservoirs - Northern and (small) and Southern (large) Aral seas. In 2003 the surface area of Aral Sea made one fourth of initial state, and the volume of water - about 10%.
Climate in the area of Aral Sea became continental and arid, winters became colder. On the spot where sea retreated was formed salt desert. As a result shallowing sharply grew the salinity of Aral, which caused the extinction of many forms of fishes. Sea lost fishery value.
Syrdarya River (in the antiquity Yaksart) takes start in the spurs of Tien Shan (7.440 m). The extent of river is 2.212 km, and together with the inflow Naryn - 3.019 km.
Amu-Dar'ya River (in the antiquity Oksus) take start in the Pamir Mountains (7.495 m), its length is 2540 km.
Zaravshan River, former inflow of Amu-Darya, flow between Amu-Darya and Syrdarya and disappear in the bumpy land in Bukhara, without reaching its previous delta. The length of river is 741 km.
Uzbekistan has a harsh continental climate. Four distinct seasons create great fluctuations in temperature over the course of a year. Average daily temperatures in January range from -6° to 2°C (21° to 36°F) and in July from 26° to 32°C (79° to 90°F), although temperatures can be much more extreme. There are also wide ranges of temperature between day and night. Precipitation is scant, and the long, hot summers are marked by drought, although the only truly arid region in Uzbekistan is the Qyzylqum desert. The wettest months are March and April. Snow is common from December through February, although snow cover often melts within a couple of days. Because of the peculiarity of climate, first half of tourist season falls on spring months: March, April, May, and the second half is in August, September and October. Also there is tourist activity in winter months for the lovers of mountains and winter ports (ski, snowboard).