Azerbaijan is situated on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, in the eastern part of the South Caucasus. The northern frontier of the country with Russia (Dagestan) stretches from the coast of the Caspian Sea to the Greater Caucasus Mountains; the northwestern boundary with Georgia is formed by complicated configuration of mountains; the boundary with the Islamic Republic of Iran to south runs alongside the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the river Araz to the Caspian coast with its humid subtropical climate. Azerbaijan is bordered by Turkey to the southwest and by Armenia to the west.
The territory of the country as a whole can be pictured as a giant tray tilted towards the Caspian Sea. This causes all the rivers of Azerbaijan to flow into the sea. Some of them join the major river Kura, and some flow into river Araz, the largest tributary of the river Kura.
There are about 250 lakes in Azerbaijan. Gey Gel Lake, a pearl of exceptional beauty framed by wooded mountains, is located in the foothills of the Kapaz Mountains at a height of 1,556 meters above sea level.
Caspian Sea, the largest lake in the world (378 400 sq. km water surface), is unique at its origins and has a rich biodiversity. Its fauna comprises 1,332 species. 111 fish species live in the Caspian including sturgeon, salmon, Danube bleak, bream, herring and other fish. There are many seals near the Azerbaijan coastland, which, being the only mammal in the Caspian, are under protection of the Absheron Reserve.
Azerbaijan is rich in ores, non-metallic deposits and fuels. The largest oil and gas reserves have been in the Absheron Peninsula. The well known therapeutic naphthalene hydrocarbon is used to treat various diseases.
Mineral waters of Istisu spring in the Kalbajar region are superior to the renowned waters of Karlovy Vary in some of their characteristics. The mineral waters of Badamly, Sirab and Vaikhyr springs of Nakhchivan have become popular far outside the region.
12 reserves and 17 protected areas have been created to protect endangered species. The Gyzylagach State Reserve comprises a part of Mugan steppe lying beside the Caspian Sea. Flamingo, crane, bald-coot, duck, cormorant, goose, swan and heron are most notable species among thousands birds that go there to winter. Persian gazelle inhabits the Shirvan Reserve. The Zagatala Reserve protects mountain animals: deer, mountain goat, mouflon, roe deer, bear and various species of birds. Many species in Azerbaijan are included in the Red Book database.
The Araz river rises in the Bingyol mountains ridge (2990 m) of Turkey. The river meets the Kura River near Sabirabad city (Sugovushan village). Its total length is 1,072 kilometers. Total basin area of this river is 102 000 km². Due to the Araz electric power station built on the river in 1970, electric power is provided to both Iran and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The Araz River is of great importance in supplying the Mil, Mugan and adjoining the Araz steppes. Owing to its physiographic factors, the Araz River is not polluted when crossing the territories of Turkey and Iran. The river is still insufficiently explored because the border with the adjoining countries goes practically along the river.
The Samur River is the largest river flowing across the northeastern area of the country. It rises in the territory of Dagestan at a height of 3600 m above sea level and meets the Caspian Sea. Its total length is 216 kilometers. Total basin area is 44 000 km². The Samur flows across the complicated mountain relief distinguished by deep gorges and high mountains. Ground-water sources and glaciers are of special importance in water feeding the river. The Samur-Absheron canal originates in the water intake built on the Samur River.
The Alazan river The Alazan River is formed at the confluence of the Tsiplovani-Hevi and Samkuris-Tskhali rivers having their rises on the Main Caucasian Ridge within the territory of Georgia. The length of the river is 413 km, total drainage area is 16920 km². For its 177 km the Alazan forms a natural boundary between Azerbaijan and Georgia. At a distance of 34 km from the river mouth it enters the territory of Azerbaijan where the local population calls it Ganykhchay. When flowing through this area, the Alazan receives no tributary. Cutting through Dashuz Mount, the river flows into the Mingechevir water reservoir below the mouth of the Agrichay River.
The average annual streamflow of the river is 2,9 km³, out of which 18% flows in winter, 35% - in spring, 25 % - in summer and 22% - in autumn.
During the period of intensive irrigation, the river brings approximately 12% of the total annual streamflow.
The Kura River The Kura River is the largest one on the Caucasus, it rises in the northern-eastern side of Gyzyl-Gaduk Mount (on the territory of Turkey), at a height of 2700 m. The total length of the river is 1515 km. The total drainage area is 188 000 km².
Within Azerbaijan territory the river flows in its partly middle and completely lower streams. From the mouth of the Alazan River to Mingechevir the river flows through quite a wide valley. Leaving the Bozdag gorge, the Kura River enters a wide valley. The Kura becomes navigable below city of Mingechevir.
At the Sabirabad mountains the Kura receives the Aras River as the last largest right tributary. At its mouth the Kura’s stream develops a small delta. The beginning of the delta is considered to be the northeastern bank. The navigable outlets to the sea are the Eastern arm and the navigable tract of the Kura, at which mouth a canal was dug through the sandbar.
The average annual streamflow volume of the Kura River is 18 km³, 16% of which is in winter, 42 % - in spring, 27% - in summer and 15% - in autumn.
The Kura River has great economic importance for Azerbaijan. This waterway is used for irrigation, navigation, fishing and energy purposes. Currently all units of the Mingechevir hydroelectric power station are completed and put into operation.
|1||Hazelnut.Corylus colurna L.||968||Very rarely can be found in other forest areas of Azerbaijan. This relict type is considered to be extincting and is spread in “Chichikli Mesha” location next to Yanshak village in Kelbajar region. Some species could be 25 m high and 48-120 cm wide.Hazelnut is valuable plant, which is growing in the restricted area, it was included into valuable and rare flora species during the ex-USSR period.|
|2||Azerbaijan white flower.Rosa Azerbajdzhanica Novopokr et Rzazade.||-||This species is rare one and is to be found only in Kelbajar region.|
|3||Oxeye DaisyTelekia speciosa(Schreb.) baumg.||-||Rare type of flora, spread near Yukhary Ayrim village of Kelbajar region.|
|4||Juniper forest.||1092||Juniper is the heat-loving rare relict plant of the Third Period. Its forest is spread near Lachin town, on both banks of Hakar river at the hight of 650 – 1100 m above sea level. It is used in decorative purposes and for prevention of soil erosion. The average age of the trees is 100-150 years.|
|5||Sweet cherry, wild, ordinary.Padus racemosa(Lam) Gilib.||-||The current type is under the thread of extincting, it is rare and spreads mainly in mountainous areas, near forests and mostly among the wide-deciduous forests. In the mentioned region it is spread in Ayridag location of Lachin region.|
|6||Eincorn wheat.Triticum mono-coccum L.||-||This is very rare species and can be found in Lachin region.|
|7||Juniper odorousJuniperus foeti-dissima Willd.||-||Rare species, spread near Agbend and Shayifly villages of Zangilan region.|
|8||Peucedanum pauciradiatum Tamamsch.||-||Rare endemic type, found in Zangilan region (Caucasus) near Aghbend village.|
|9||Araz Oak.Quercus araxina(Trautv.) Gross.||-||Rare type, grows only in Zangelan region near Bartaz, Goyaly, Ordakly, Shayifly and Kechiklly villages. Other than Azerbaijan this species grows only in Armenia and Iran.|
|10||Rock cotoneaster. Cotoneaster saxatilis Pojark.||-||Rare endemic type. Could be found near Agbend village of Zangelan region.|
|11||Forest grapes.Vitis silvestris Gmel.||-||Rare type with decreasing habitat, grows near Agbend village of Zangelan region.|
|12||Oriental plane tree.Platanus orientalis L.||-||Relict type, extincting species. It grows in Zangelan region in the basin Bazitchay and Ohchuchay rivers.|
|13||Gladiolus halophilus.Gladiolus Boiss. Et Heldr.||-||Most probably extincting type. It was found near Zangialn town.|
|14||Araz ||10.000||Fruit bearing forests consist of Araz oak. This speciуы is under the thread of extincting.|
|15||Juniper odorousJaniperus foetidissima Willd.||-||Rare type, grows near Djullu, Gazanzamy and Shihlar villages of Djabrail region.|
|16||Julian mountainous forest.Tulipa schmidtii Fomin.||-||Genesis – Northern Iran, very rare type, spread near Soltanly village of Djabrail region.|
|17||Schmidt Black poppy.Tulipa schmidtii Fomin.||-||Extincting endemic type in the Southern Caucasus, grows near Soltanly village of Djabrail region.|
|18||Alpine woodsia.Woodsia mezofi Gray.||-||Very rare arcto-alpine relict. It is spread near “Hoja Alif” location of Djabrail region.|
|19||Kuznetsov Anemone.Anemone kusnetzowii Woronow ex Grossh.||-||Extincting endemic type in the Southern Caucasus. In ex-USSR was growing in Azerbaijan only, Djabrail region, Dashkesan and Guzlah villages.|
|20||Fischer’s sternbergiya. Sternbergiya fischeriana (herb.) Roem.||-||Rare type with extincting habitat, grows near Garakopaktapa and Dovletyari villages.|
|21||Caucasian snowdrop. Galanthus cau-casicus (Baker), A. Grossh.||-||Rare type with decreasing habitat, grows near Dovletkarly village of Fizuli region.|
|22||Caucasian zelkova (elm). Zelkova carpinifolia C. Koch.||-||Rare relict type of Caucasus and Iran, grows near Khoga village of Fizuli region.|
|23||Fischer’s sternbergiya. Sternbergiya fischeriana (herb.) Roem.||-||Rare species with decreasing habitat, spread in Shusha region near Topkhana village.|
|24||Caucasian zelkova (elm).Zelkova carpinifolia C. Koch.||-||Rare relict type of Caucasus and Iran, grows around Shusha region.|
|25||Odd type wheat.Triticum monococcum L.||-||Very rare species growing in Shusha region.|
|26||Iris hollyIris acutiloba C.A.Mey.||-||Rare endemic type with limited habitat. Grows in Shusha region (Topkhana).|
|27||Caucasian snowdrop.Galanthus caucasicus (Baker), A. Grossh.||-||Rare species with decreasing habitat. It is found near Kechal Gaya and Topkhana villaged of Shusha region.|
|28||Sagsagan Alcea.Alcea sachsachanica Iljin||-||Rare endemic species of Azerbaijan, spread around Shusha region near Sagsagan mountain and Chidyr plateau.|
|29||Scarlet firethornPyracantha coccinea Roem.||-||Grows in the Northern Mediterranean area and became rare species, spread in Shusha region near Dashagly village.|
|30||Girkan ficus Ficus hyrcana Grossh.||-||Rare endemic type of Azerbaijan flora, grows around Shusha town.|
|31||Caucasian orchis.Ophrys caucasica Woronow ex Grossh.||-||Rare endemic Caucasian type, grows in Nagorny Karabakh.|
|32||Karabakh mountainous poppy.Tulpa karabachensis Gross.||-||Rare Endemic type of southern Caucasus, it is spread around Shusha town.|
|33||Soft resin.-||732||A unique species of flora, which formed the Mezofile forests. Soft resin has scientific- practical importance, this tree is 8-12 m in its diameter, age of such tree is up to 370-400 years.|
|34||Fischer’s sternbergiya. Sternbergiya fischeiana (herb.) Roem.||-||Rare species with decreasing habitat, grows near Goytepe village of Agdam region.|
|35||Iris CamillaIris camillae Grossh.||-||Rare endemic type, spread in Agdam region.|
|36||Plane tree forest.||5.0||In the basin of Ter-Ter river the mixed oak-and-nut tree forest is available.|
|37||Sweet cherry, ordinary type.Padus racemosa.(Lam) Gilib)||-||Extincting rare species, spread in Shir-Shir area of Agdera region.|
|38||Schmidt poppy.Tulipa schmidtii Fomin.||-||Extincting in Southern Caucasus endemic type, spread near Kuropatkino village of Agdera region, in Garachul mountain.|
|39||Oriental plane tree.Platanus Mezofitalis L.||-||Extincting relict species, spread in the Ter-Ter River basin of Agdera region.|
|40||Karabakh poppyTulpa karabachensis Gross.||-||Rare endemic type of Southern Caucasus, spread in Askeran (Topkhana) location in the villages of Domu, Tag and Tug.|
|41||Iris Camilla.Iris camillae Grossh.||-||Rare and limited endemic type, spread in Askeran region.|
|42||Schmidt poppy.Tulipa schmidtii Fomin.||-||Extincting in the South Caucasus endemic type, spread widely in Askerna (Topkhana).|
|43||Scorzonera beautiful.Scorzonera pusilla Lomak.||-||Very rare endemic species, spread near Ziyaret mountain, Agjakend, Askeran-Topkhana.|
|44||Holly forest||20.0||Forests, consisting of oak-and-nut trees and hollies.|
|45||Odd type of wheatTriticum monococcum L.||-||Very rare species found around Khankendi, in Shushakend and Topkhana.|
|46||Girkan ficus.Ficus hyrcana Grossh.||-||Endemic flora species of Azerbaijan, spread around Khankendi.|
|47||Chestnut ordinary.Castanea sativa Mill.||-||Relict species with decreasing habitat, spread in Moshtmaat village, close to Khankendi.|
|48||Caucasian zelkova (elm). Zelkova carpinifolia C. Koch.||-||Rare species of Caucasus and Iran, spread in Khankendi.|
|49||Orchis longfoliaCephalanthera longifolia (L.)Fritsch.||-||Rarely spread species with decreasing habitat, found near Khankendi town.|
|50||Ilex hyrcana Pojark.||-||Relict species under the thread of extincting (Caucasian and Iranian endemic type), found in Badara and Dashalty near Khankendi.|
|51||Zelkova forest.||0.5||Relict tree of the Third Period, it was included into the list of rare trees of the ex-USSR. Average age of such tree is 100 years, diameter is 24 cm and 12 m high.|
|52||Iris holly.Iris acutiloba C.A.Mey.||-||Rare species with limited habitat, Caucasian endemic type, spread in Khojavand (close to Kuropatkino village)|
|53||Sagsagan Alcea.Alcea sachsachanica Iljin.||-||Rare endemic flora species of Azerbaijan, spread near Domu village of Gadrud region.|
|54||Caucasian zelkova (elm). Zelkova carpinifolia C. Koch.||-||Rare relict species of Azerbaijan and Iran, spread near Domu and Akhullu village of Gadrud region.|
|55||Forest grapes.Vitis silvestris Gmel.||-||Rare species with decreasing habitat, spread near Domu village of Gadrud region.|
|56||Guelder rose velvety.Euonymus velutina Fisch. Et Mey.||-||Rare, relict species. It is found in Gadrud region.|
|57||European yew.Taxus baccata L.||-||Rare relict species, found near Domu village of Gadrud region.|