Info Shymkent - World Wildlife Day 2023 - Collage of Kazakhstan's unique wildlife

Happy World Wildlife Day 2023

Today is World Wildlife Day 2023. We want to use the moment to have a look on Kazakhstan’s wildlife in danger.

World Wildlife Day, celebrated on March 3rd, is a global initiative lead by the United Nations to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife around the world. The theme for the World Wildlife Day 2023 is Partnerships for wildlife conservation, honoring the people who are making a difference such as teachers and rangers who introducing the wildlife to the younger generations.

Kazakhstan, a vast country in Central Asia, is home to a wide variety of unique and diverse wildlife. From the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan Mountains to the vast steppes and deserts, Kazakhstan’s varied landscape provides habitats for a wide range of species.

One of the most iconic animals in Kazakhstan is the saiga antelope, which is found only in Central Asia. The saiga has distinctive, elongated noses that help them filter out dust and warm the air they breathe during cold winters. Unfortunately, saiga populations have been threatened by poaching and habitat loss in recent years, and are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Info Shymkent - World Wildlife Day 2023 - Snow-Leopard
The snow leopards of Kazakhstan are in danger. Only around 120 individuals remain in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan is also home to a number of other unique and endangered species, including the snow leopard, the Siberian ibex and the steppe eagle. The snow leopard is a majestic big cat that is highly adapted to living in the rugged mountain landscapes of Central Asia, but is threatened by habitat loss and poaching for its fur and body parts. The Siberian ibex, a type of wild goat, is found in mountainous regions throughout Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. The steppe eagle, a large bird of prey, is a symbol of Kazakhstan and can be found throughout the country’s grasslands and steppes.

In addition to these iconic species, Kazakhstan is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife, including manuls, kulans, Przewalski’s horses, Greater flamingos, sand cats, wolves, lynx, brown bears, and a variety of migratory birds. However, many of these species are also threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and other human activities.

Info Shymkent - World Wildlife Day 2023 - Przewalski's horse
There is hope: Once extinct in the wild, the Przewalski’s horse has reintroduced to steppes such as Altyn-Emel National Park in Kazakhstan.

Protecting Kazakhstan’s unique wildlife is crucial for maintaining biodiversity and preserving the country’s natural heritage. This includes protecting and restoring habitats, cracking down on poaching and other illegal activities, and promoting sustainable development practices that minimize negative impacts on wildlife.

As we celebrate World Wildlife Day 2023, let us remember the importance of protecting the diverse and unique wildlife in Kazakhstan and around the world, for the benefit of both people and the planet.

Cover image: Collage of different wildlife animals who live in Kazakhstan like the Wolve, snow leopard (with cubs), manul, greater flamingo, sand cat and steppe eagle (from top left to down right)

More information about Kazakhstan’s Wildlife: