The Animal World
The natural environment of the National Park is much diversified, so that a great number of animal species can exist here.
The vertebrate animal world includes about 265 species and subspecies of animals – 48 species of mammals, over 200 species of bird, 8 – reptiles, 4 – amphibians and 8 species of fish. Number of species of invertebrate animals has not been defined yet, because numbering of this group has not been finished. It has been defined for sure that the park is home to some 5000 species of insects and spiders. The animals of the National Park live in various conditions: from foothills and woodlands up to Alpine belt, on cliffs and glaciers, as well as in water reservoirs and in populated areas.
Mammals. By scientific classification mammals of the National Park come under 6 families: wing-handed animals (8 species), predaceous (12 species), cloven-hoofed (4 species), gnawing animals (16 species), insect-eating (6 types) and double-toothed rodents (2 species).
Big-eared hedgehog and Eurasian pygmy shrew are typical in the foothills; along the water streams a rare species – Eurasian water shrew can be found. There is a great number of mouse-like rodent species, as well as wolves, foxes, roes, jackals, badgers, tolai hares, small weasels - a weasel and ermine. The most common birds are passerines, Coraciiformes and others.
In the forest belt hoofed animals can be often found like wild boar, Siberian red deer, Siberian roe deer, some rodents – squirrel, forest dormouse, Tien Shan red-backed mouse, tolai hare. From the above mentioned animals, the Siberian red deer and Siberian roe deer are the most valuable. Siberian red deer live in fir forests, in separate seasons of the year they go up to juniper stands in the highlands, also descend down to deciduous woodlands.
Siberian roe deer live everywhere in woodlands, including shrub thickets of low mountains. Thanks to biotechnical activities (feeding with hay, wisps and salt) the number of Siberian red deer and roe deer in the Park is stable and is maintained at a satisfactory level.
In the Alpine zone there are Siberian ibex, argali, rocky white-toothed shrew and Turkestan red pika. A great number of Siberian ibex animals live in basins of the Talgar and Yssyk rivers, as well as in cliffs from semi-desert and forest meadow belts up to and including the Alpine belt, at altitudes of 1600 – 4000 meters above sea level. A great part of year goats remain in the middle-hills, and only the heat and insects push them off to the Alpine belt, closer to snowfields and glaciers.
Wild boars can virtually be found throughout the territory of the park; in the autumn they go to wild fruit woodlands for feeding. They migrate greatly searching for feed. The wild boar is a valuable hunting and commercial species.
Foxes live in all the landscape and geographical areas of the park, ranging from forests to steppes, including mountains.
Badgers are distributed all over the area of the park, living in various landscapes. They feed on both plant products and animal food, and hibernate during the winter.
Tolai hares are of little size and weight (1.5-2 kg), and inhabit deserts and foothills. Bats can virtually be found in any part of the park: common serotine, common noctule, grey long-eared bat and lesser mouse-eared bat. The Park plays an invaluable role in preservation of population of beasts listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan and of the International Union for the Protection of Nature. For example, one of the country’s big populations of snow leopard inhabits the National Park. The number of other rare and vanishing species also gives us hope for preservation of their populations. Among them are: Tien Shan brown bear, stone marten, Turkestan lynx, Tien Shan argali and others.