Biosphere reserve

The Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve (LABR), formerly known as Baday-Tugay National Reserve, is located on the right bank of the Amudarya River at the foothills of the Sultan Uvays Dag mountain range and the right side of Karatau Mountains. It has an area of 68,717.8 hectares.

The territory of the Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve is divided into three main zones. A strictly protected (core) zone was meant for conservation of natural riparian woodlands (tugai), and rare and endangered animal and plant species, preserving its unique biodiversity. The core zone prohibits any type of economic activities except research and monitoring of natural processes. Buffer zone rings around the strictly protected zone ensures its buffer with an area of intensive use of resources. A transition zone adjoins the western and buffer zones. It aims to develop a sustainable use of natural resources. The zone provides an area for a rural population, excluding large settlements as well as harmful and dangerous production facilities. Three hundred fifty-six vertebrate species, including 36 mammal species are registered in the Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve.

The Lower Amudarya State Biosphere Reserve has conducted significant work in preserving the population of the Bukhara deer that was included in the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Red Book of Uzbekistan. In 1978, the reserve had 16 registered Bukhara deer. By 2010 the overall number of species exceeded 500 and in 2014 it reached approximately 700. Scientists believe that the reserve has become the largest shelter for Bukhara deer in the world.

Currently LABR floristic composition consists of 419 higher plant species. It includes 320 fodder, 68 medicinal, 73 alkaloid, 47 tanniferous, 20 dye, 56 noxious, 11 fiber, 40 bee and 25 essential oil plants.