The country is inhabited by 49 species of fish, 2 species of amphibians, 44 reptiles, 10,000 invertebrates, and 85 mammals, among which are such rare species like the Marco Polo sheep, the Bukhara red deer, and the desert antelope (gazella subgutturosa).
One rare species of animal it is possible to find is the Tajik moufflon (urial), a subspecies of the Asian moufflon, which is an ancestor of our modern sheep.
The snow leopard (ounce) is a beautiful, smart and strong predator (more than 2m long including its tail). It is a menace for rare animals such as the markhoor, a spiral-horned buck, and the Pamir argali (ovis ammon), the largest mountainous sheep in the world, whose weight can reach 200kg.
Upstream from the Amu Darya River is a unique area, the Tigrovaya Balka preserve. It is the home of many rare animals and birds - leopards, jungle cats, hyenas, black-golden pheasants, desert partridges, serpent eagles, as well as the usual fauna for the area - wild boar, badgers, hares and porcupines. The Turan tiger was last seen in Tigrovaya Balka in 1953.
Marco Polo goat
Brown bears live in the dense bushes of the mountain forest. At altitudes of 3-4,000m in the Pamirs it is possible to see yaks (bos mutus). Here, near snowfields and among rare plants, marmots (marmota menzbieri kaschkarov) can also be found.
More than 384 species and subspecies of birds nest in or fly over the territory of the country. Singing birds such as nightingales, orioles, buntings, thrushes and many others create a constant background symphony that never quietens down during springtime, not even at night.
In the sky, large noble birds of prey hover, including the lammergeier eagle, griffons (gyps) and hawks (with a wing-span of 2.5m), and smaller ones such as kites and falcons. Another rare bird, the Himalayan snowcock, lives on rocky ridges.
The Pamiri lakes are a favourite habitat for water birds, among which the Indian mountainous goose and Tibet Pallas sand grouse are particularly interesting.
The mountain partridge is common, and its beautiful singing makes it a popular pet in city apartments.
In brightly painted sub-alpine meadows, live a variety of creatures, including map butterflies (araschnia le-vana), locusts, and beetles of varying sizes and colours. All serve as food for birds during the breeding of their quickly-growing offspring.
Among Tajikistan's reptile population you can find poisonous snakes such as the cobra, ebetina viper, and carpet viper (echis), and numerous non-poisonous snakes, such as grass and wood (coluber) snakes. The ancient giant lizard (sand crocodile), as well as several dozen kinds of smaller lizards live here.
The rivers and lakes hold carp (cyprinus carpio), fresh-water catfish (silurus), barbel, osman (diptychus), marinka (schizothorax), and trout. Downstream in the Vakhsh River the ancient shovelnose can still be found.
Many examples of Tajikistan's flora and fauna are listed in the International Red Book as rare or vanishing species, requiring protection or special care and attention.
Yaks. Baland Keek, Pamirs