The wildlife of Kyrgyzstan is very rich and diverse. Entire the territory of our country you can find animal life typical of deserts and forests, valleys and mountains, steppes and meadows
There are about 500 different species of vertebrates and over 3000 species of insects which have been catalogued, including 60 species of dragon-fly, 86 species of butterfly, 86 species of ants, 33 species of bees, and 250 species of cicadas.
Stocks of 49 different species of fish can be found in the waters of Kyrgyzstan, lakes and reservoirs. In Lake Issyk-Kul there are chebachok, chebak, sazan, carp, trout, marinka, osman, bream, line, pike-perch, sig, and crucian. In the various reservoirs and rivers: sazan, crucian, barbel, pike, marinka and other species of fish. Trout can be found in Mountain Rivers.
There are 25 species of reptiles including tortoises, lizards, and snakes.
Ornithologists can spot a wide variety of birds here — which presnts with more than 335 species. In different areas of the country one can encounter pheasant, grey herons, the «cherry bird», woodpecker, eagle-owl, silvered sea-gull, red-wing flamingo amongst others. On Lake Issyk-Kul you can meet «hissing» swans, «crying» swans, grey geese, and pelicans.
Amongst the rare species of birds it is possible to see in Kyrgyzstan there are «balaban», white stork, golden eagle, bearded vulture, bustard, demoiselle crane, «snake eater», white-tail sea eagle, steppe eagle, black stork. Cranes congregate at Son Kul and Chartyr Kul on the migratory journeys.
Mammals are represented by 83 different species, including Mountain Sheep (arkhar), bears, and «maral» in the spruce forests of the Tien-Shan and in the Ak-Sai, Arpa, and Suusamyr highly mountain valleys. The mountain ridges and valleys provide homes for foxes, wolves, badger, weasel, ermine, and stone martens. In some regions it is also possible to find snow leopard (Bars), wild boar, roe deer, Siberian goat, porcupine, hedgehog, hare, marmot, «andatrum».
Kyrgyzstan protects such rare animals as «dzheiran», red wolf, «maral», snow leopard (Bars), the Middle-Asian otter, the Mensbir marmot, Tien-Shan brown bear, Tien-Shan mountain sheep (arkhar) and «Marco Polo»sheep — amongst others. Some of the animals found in Kyrgyzstan are recorded in «Red Book» of International Nature Preserve Union: The snow leopard, the «Mensbir» marmot, the «dzheiran», red wolf, and grey monitor lizard.
Unfortunately the quantity of snow leopards was very fast decreasing during last twenty years. Their amount declined from more than 4,000 big cats ranging through the mountains, to only approximately 250 snow leopards. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the work of German Society for Nature Conservation (NABU) in Kyrgyzstan in the fragile high mountainous region of Issyk-Kul region in the area of approximately 7,000 m², has centered on protecting endangered species, establishing protected areas, environmental education and supporting non-governmental organizations.