Shirkent

Shirkent national park

Shirkent National Park was founded in 1991 to preserve areas of special scientific interest after the discovery of rare three sites of dinosaur footprints from various eras containing more than 400 trails. First, is the dinosaur footprints are located on one of the right banks of the Shirkent River, lightly above a village with the same name. Two lines of pterodactyl footprints are seen here on the surface of Erinaceous limestone. The length of the footprints is 0,5m on average, the width up to 30cm, and the step length about 75cm. Since there are no footprints known elsewhere like those in Shirkent, the animal that left them was placed in a new species of dinosaurs which are a suborder of Theropoda, and was given the name Macropodosaurs Gravis. The second group of dinosaurs trails is about 5 km from the entrance of the Shirkent river, near the watershed on its left side. The third group of footprints is near Pashmi Kuna village and contains the footprints of only Tridactylus, however, it was a real giant. The length of its feet exceed 70cm, the width 60cm, and the depth of ground depression under its footprints is up to 10cm.

The wildlife of the area is diverse as well. It is home to snow leopards (ounces), bears, marten cats, stoats, and Siberian wild goats. Some birds and insects, inhabitants of this area, are registered in the Red Book of Tajikistan’s rare and vanishing species (snowcock, griffon, Turkestan saker falcon, barbary falcon, swallowtail, rare butterflies).

Page last updated 11.12.2020

NEAR SHIRKENT NATIONAL PARK​

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