Saturday, June 26, 2021

Shirvan National Park - Azerbaijan

Shirvan National Park is 86 miles southwest of the Azerbaijan capital city of Baku, just west of the Caspian Sea, and encompasses 338 square miles. Much of it was previously beneath the Caspian Sea and is below sea level, averaging about 74 feet below sea level. It was initially Shirvan State Reserve, established in 1969, and was converted to a national park in 2003. It was primarily established to protect the goitered gazelle, which was nearly extinct when the Reserve was established and now has between 5,000 and 7,000 of them. 
The entrance to Shirvan NP. Note the gazelle at the top of the monument. 

A marsh area which we viewed from an observation tower. 

A western marsh-harrier flies over the marsh area. 

Some goitered gazelles with a rocky background.

More gazelles and the flatlands and vegetation. 

My best gazelle photo is of a male and the goiter on its neck is clearly visible (the goiter is only present during mating season). 

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