The Tigrovaja Balka (Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary) in Tajikistan is the most significant and unique environmental territory in Central Asia. This area represents a rare complex of tugai (called Tugay in local language, which is reedmace, rushes, bushes, trees and associated flora and fauna) eco- system and typical for riparian woodland (or Typha)
rare and specifically endemic and unique species of fauna and flora. The reserve is famous as the last sighting of the Turan`s Tiger was registered there in 1958. There are riparian woodlands in the whole Khatlon region - in narrow strips or small clumps in the areas of thicketed field of the flood lands, along the rivers shores. But the typhus of the Tigrovaja Balka Wildlife Sanctuary covers larger areas and as such creates Typha jungle. These large areas of Typha are significant in their size and the most touched by anthrop generic influence. They are located on confluence of and between the Rivers Vakhsh and Pyanj, which create the conditions for their significant size and natural borders and barriers for their safety from human activities as well.
As natural flood-lands, the fields of typha in the Tigrovaja Balka need regular flooding and washing for normal development. Natural flooding became almost impossible many years ago because of the building of the hydro-electric dams, the systems of these dams, irrigation channels and the artificial regulation of the rivers` flow. Due to the lack of ability for natural flooding, it is absolutely necessary to flood the typha once a year by artificial measures. However, the existing systems of channels and dams are not desirable to open access of water into the typha; firstly - the water will not get to all of the necessary areas, and secondly - the agricultural fields and even the villages which are located around the national park would be flooded. The old system of dams and channels, which could provide the necessary mechanism for the artificial floods and the prevention of flooding in the nearby neighbourhoods, were destroyed a long time ago. Three consecutive dry years negatively affected all eco- systems of the region. The resulting drought and salty soil, lead to the beginning of typha degradation. Two consecutive humid years in 2004 and 2005 should have solved the problem in a natural way. However, this humidity did not alleviate the plight of the typha due to a lack of steady rain which would flood wash the salty soil. Without this washing the typha perishes.
Within the framework of the project on preservation of Buchar’s Deer of the Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary technical assistance was offered. An assistance plan was developed and community education and awareness work was conducted, including children`s ecological camp, set up in the neighborhoods to the reserve. In 2004, steps were undertaken for the restoration of the eco-system of the Tiger Wildlife Sanctuary. In particular, Haloxylon’s fields were planted in the surrounding main areas of typha desert. These grew for some time, but were destroyed by human activity.
To Friends, colleagues and all who love nature in general and in particular our unique country of Tajikistan!!!
Opening the Rubric "Eco-patriot", I want to share with you my own opinions, ideas and love of this unique corner of our Republic. But in general I consider that the nature of Tajikistan is unique in all its landscapes. The desert is beautiful with the colours of the rainbow in the flush of spring flowers. These colours of the rainbow we see in mountains, step by step rising in springtime from hills, and to the middle and the end of the summer in the higher Alpine. One may delight about the infinite beauty of our nature. But only delight is not enough. It is necessary to learn to keep, love and protect this beauty. But we cannot do this individually and only by specialists, but we must do it with the whole the world. Afterwards only we will see and feel, how nice it is and how grateful nature will be to us in providing and protecting us for future generations. This makes us more content with its beauty.