In the territory of Kazakhstan there are 10 nature reserves. They were designed in order to preserve rare animals, birds, and plants. Reserve Aksu-Zhabagly is the oldest and most famous in Central Asia. Reserve «Aksu-Zhabagly» covers an area of 1281 square km, and is located within the South Kazakhstan and Zhambyl regions on the border with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The main territory of Aksu-Zhabagly occupies the western part of the ridge Talas Alatau and the extreme northeastern branch of Ugham ridge.
This is a unique mountain place with amazing natural landscape is located at an altitude of 1000 — 4280 above sea level. The initiative to create the reserve belongs to the famous Hydrobiology A.L.Brodsky, hereinafter his idea was realized into life, and led to the establishment of the reserve in 1926. Aksu-Zhabagly is notable for a variety of picturesque landscapes and unique natural sites. Attractive landscape of the reserve complement the scenic gorge with ancient petroglyphs. Flora and fauna of the reserve Aksu-Zhabagly is rich and varied.
Among the 10 reserves of Kazakhstan — Aksu Dzhabagly stands out the richness and variety of vegetation. Reserve’s flora includes about 1400 species of plants. Many plants have medicinal properties. Among them are taken by official medicine ephedra horsetail, hypericum pierced, yarrow, buckthorn and others. Originality and uniqueness of the flora is well illustrated by the higher plants.
In this group marked more than 200 species of rare, including 177 endemics of Western Tien Shan and Karatau; 30 relicts and 39 species, listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. Only in Aksu-Zhabagly protected rare species such as Lactuca mira, Ugamia angrenica, primrose Minkvits, Oxytropis Talas, Pedicularis Masalsky, euonymus Koopman, Talas birch and others. The pride of the reserve is considered — Tulip Greyga (T?lipa gr?igii), which became the subject of exports. The size of its purple-red petals 12-15 cm.
The fauna of the reserve is diverse and unique, it includes species typical for entirely different regions. Vertebrate fauna includes more than 330 species. To mammals can be attributed 42 species. Fish fauna consists of seven species, the most common of them — ordinary Marinka and Osman. The most common among ungulate — mountain goats, rams and deer. From predators, most often can be found Tien Shan brown bear. The numbers of Bears in Aksu-Zhabagly reserve account about 100 individuals, this is a very good indicator for the species, which is located threatened with extinction. In addition to argali and bear, inhabit in the reserve five more species of mammals, which are listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan, this is Snow leopard (Panthera uncia), porcupine, Turkestan lynx, marten and ligation.
Of the vertebrate animals in the reserve are inhabited by and over well studied — the representatives of birds. Throughout the territory of reserve, there are about 268 species of birds. Among them, 110 passing and 130 breeding bird species. The most attractive specimen among birds is — Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi). In addition, 30 species listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. Among them — the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaёtus) — symbol of Kazakhstan’s statehood, Steppe Eagle (Aquila rapax), Saker falcon (Falco cherrug), and bluebird (Myophonus coereleus).
In Aksu Zhabagly huge variety of insects. Scientists have identified 2,124 species, but forecast to 6000 to find the species. 25 of them are listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. Among them Beetle Krasotel (Calosoma sycophanta) and Spot ladybird (Stethorus punctillum), mantis Bolivar (Bolivaria brachiptera) and others.
The most attractive among insects are daily butterflies, which in Aksu-Zhabagly 120 species. The most colorful of them Swallowtail butterfly (Papillio machaon) and Apollo (Parnassius apollo), which also includes in the Red book of Kazakhstan. In addition, you can see Apatura (five species), jaundice, including rare — Romanov and the Dragon, as well as representatives of the largest family — Lycaenidae (37 species).
All this diversity of flora and fauna provides a huge potential for learning and co-existence between man and nature. On the territory of reserve Aksu-Zhabagly has many tourist attractions such as gorges, varied landscapes and caves. Inside and around the reserve, there are three zones. Zone 1 includes the reserve itself and is a protected area where tourism is prohibited.
Zone number 3 is also prohibited for tourism. For ecotourism development assigned to the second zone, which developed 10 tourist routes that provide a wonderful opportunity for tourists to experience the atmosphere of the reserve Aksu-Zhabagly.