3,600 hectares sown with saxaul in Turkistan region
The area of saxaul forests is actively expanding in the Turkistan region. As part of the effort to combat desertification, rangers sow hundreds of hectares of the Kyzylkum desert with the saxaul seeds every year. In 2021 alone, a unique plant was sown on more than 3,500 hectares. Saxaul is a natural barrier to the sands. One bush can hold four tonnes of land. In addition, the growth of saxaul forests has a positive effect on the entire ecosystem, as the number of red book goitered gazelles, sandgrouse and bustards is increasing.
“Saxaul has many benefits. It not only stops the sands, but also creates a shadow, which is highly necessary in the desert,” said Assistant Forest Manager Bagdat Kyrkynbai.
“We mainly choose the places where there’s sand shifting. Firstly, we conduct an examination of the soil, and if it is suitable for growing saxaul, then we plant it there. We do this on a regular basis,” explained Abzal Rakhimov, Acting Deputy Director of Otyrar State Forest and Wildlife Conservation Agency.
Planting a saxaul is not an easy job. First, experts grow it in a nursery, then take it to the desert. Also, the foresters protect the plant from fire. Nine fire stations were installed on the territory of the Otyrar forest and wildlife conservation institution.