Absheron National Park
Absheron National Park established on 8 February, 2005 by the decree of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Eliyev. It is in an area of 783 hectares (7.83 km2) in the administrative territory of the Azizbeyov district of Baku city. The Absheron State Nature Preserve created in July 1969 in order to protect gazelles, Caspian seals and water birds that inhabit the territory.
More than 50 bird and animal species encountered in Absheron National Park. Nearly 25 plant species exist in the National Park. Caspian seal which considered rare species encountered in the Caspian sea area of Absheron National Park and it observed in seal cape mostly in May-August. Absheron National Park-the closest natural monument to the capital Baku, the most auspicious point for ecotourism, the site holding the most pure water and the clearest air in Absheron beach.
They exists in the great lakes, reservoirs of the Republic and in the coasts of Caspian Sea. This is hibernating and migratory bird. Its color is snow-white (young Mute Swans are light grey in color). It has red and black bill. Mute swan has a knob at the base of the bill on the upper mandible. It resembles question-mark bending its neck when in water and on earth. It has no voice and only hisses. Mute Swan hibernates in big lakes of Caspian shore and Lowland regions.
Nutrition and Migration
Its hunting prohibited. Less part that don’t nest (20-30 species) of them observed in summer. November considered fall migration period, and the second half of February is spring migration and return period. Underwater part of plants (root and scion) provides its nutrition. The bird prefers threadlike seaweeds in nutrition. Mute Swan is among rare birds decreasing in amount, and has included into “Red book” of Azerbaijan. The migration of Mute Swan begins in the last days of February. It feeds on various water insects, their larvae, small animals living in silts as well as underwater vegetation.
Firstly Caspian seal is the unique sea mammal to exist in the Caspian Sea. It considered the tiniest seal species of the world being the endemic species of the Caspian Sea (existence period – 50 years). According to the estimations carried out in 1987 total number of Caspian seal populations is 360-400 thousands (Krylov, 1989) while estimations conducted by the Commission of Caspian Sea on bio-resources in 2005 say their number is 375 thousands. In 1996 the World Nature and Natural Resources Protection Union also carried out discussions on Caspian seals condition and included the status of this species to the red book of the World Nature and Natural Resources Protection Union as a weak species considering gradual contamination of the Caspian Sea and contraction of coastal strip which is living quarters of seals.
Reproduction period of Caspian Seals
Caspian seal can be encountered in any part of the Caspian Sea. The major part of Caspian seal populations migrate during reproduction period. However comparatively few of them (10-15% or 40-60 thousands of the population) consisted mostly of young and non-reproductive species remain in Central and Southern Caspian during this period. According to the results of researches implemented by the Azerbaijan International Operation Company in 1996-1998 helicopter flights revealed the seals staying in Shah-Dili strip, Chilov, Kichik Tava, Boyuk Tava and Tavaalti islands during the year.
Research by: Ulduz Tourism