Employees of the Amu Darya state nature reserve are working systematically to preserve and restore the ecosystems of the middle reaches of the Amu Darya and the surrounding areas of the desert. It was created in 1982. It is located in the North-Eastern part of the Lebap velayat of Turkmenistan on the territory of the Darganat, Deynu and Farab etraps. It also includes separate sections. Its area is 48.3 thousand hectares. The reserve is managed by the Kelifsky state nature reserve. Its area is 103 thousand hectares. It is located on the territory of the halach and Kerkin etraps. It was established in order to protect one of the southernmost wetland bird wintering areas in Turkmenistan and the entire natural complex of the Kelif lakes.
The composition of the Amudarya state nature reserve includes areas of the water area of the Amu Darya river, the riparian and desert Kyzyl Kum. Most of the reserve’s territory is flat-desert ecosystems.
227 species of higher vascular plants have been identified on the territory of the reserve. The wildlife of the reserve is quite diverse. The invertebrate fauna consists of more than one hundred species. 80 species of spiders have been identified, many of which are described for the first time. 36 species of fish live in the waters of the Amu Darya, channels, reservoirs, and starits of the reserve. Amphibians in the fauna of the reserve are represented by two species-the green toad and the lake frog.
Reptiles are represented by 28 species, mostly living in the desert part. In different seasons of the year, the reserve is home to about 265 species of birds. Mammals are represented by 44 species, of which 4 are insectivores, 5 are bats, 1 is hare-like, 18 are rodents, 13 are predatory, and 3 are ungulates.
From insectivorous mammals commonly found eared hedgehog that lives in the reeds of the small white-toothed shrew and a resident of deserts piebald piebald shrew. The number of bats is low. The red vechernitsa, a migrating bat that is listed in the red book of Turkmenistan, has been recorded on the territory of the reserve. The tolai hare is widely distributed. Among rodents, gerbils and house mice predominate in number. Desert inhabitants are also common – the thin-toed gopher and the shaggy-legged jerboa.
The Bobrinsky jerboa lives on the territory of the reserve. There are acclimatized species-nutria and muskrat. Of the predatory mammals, the Jackal, Fox, badger, steppe cat, bandaging are quite typical, and there are Caracal and otter.
The ungulates in riparian habitat riparian boar and deer, in the desert Gazelle.
When the reserve was created, it was given a territory partially disturbed by anthropogenic factors. As a result of compliance with the conservation regime, the natural state of natural ecosystems has been practically restored, and the number of animals and plants, including rare ones, has increased.
On the territory of the reserve, Kelifsky state nature reserve and Sredneamudaryinsky district — the region of competence of the reserve on a permanent basis, research work is carried out. In the reserve and Sredneamudaryinsky district, an inventory of vertebrates and higher vascular plants, partially — spiders and some groups of insects. Every year, the components of the reserve’s ecosystems and the Sredneamudaryinsky district are monitored, and the “Chronicle of nature”is continuously maintained.
Some species of plants and animals are listed in the red book of Turkmenistan and in the Red list of the International Union for nature protection.