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Geographic map of Azerbaijan

Geographic map of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a state in the Transcaucasus region which, from a geographical point of view, is considered an Asian or transcontinental country, being crossed by the Caucasus chain, one of the conventional lines of separation between Europe and Asia.
Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia and Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. Azerbaijani territory includes an exclave: the Naxçıvan Autonomous Republic, which borders Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west and Turkey to the northwest.

Geography –
Azerbaijan is a country located in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, with a strategic position between Europe and Asia. The main geographical features of Azerbaijan are described below.
This country has a surface area of ​​approximately 86,600 km², with a topography that varies considerably due to the presence of mountains, hills and plains.
Among the mountains we remember the Greater Caucasus to the north and the Small Caucasus to the west and south-west. The highest mountain is Mount Bazardüzü, with an altitude of 4,466 meters.
There are also plains, including the Kura-Aras Plain which extends in the center and south-east of the country.
The main river of Azerbaijan is the Kura, which flows through the country from northwest to southeast and flows into the Caspian Sea. Other important rivers include the Aras, which forms the border with Iran.
The most significant lake is Lake Mingachevir, created by a dam on the Kura River.
Azerbaijan also has a long coastline on the Caspian Sea, the largest closed body of water in the world.
The capital is Baku, located on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, it is the largest city and the main economic and cultural center of the country.
Azerbaijan is divided into 66 districts (rayonlar), 11 cities (şəhərlər) and one autonomous republic, Nakhchivan, which is an enclave separated from the rest of the country and bordered by Armenia, Iran and Turkey.
The Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic is a region geographically separated from the rest of Azerbaijan and has a significant level of autonomy.
Among the points of geographical interest we remember:
– the Gobleki (Göygöl) National Park, known for its lake of the same name, a beautiful mountain lake located in the Lesser Caucasus.
– Quba, a mountainous region famous for its picturesque villages and the Jewish community of Qırmızı Qəsəbə (Qırmızı Gasaba).
– Qobustan Plain, famous for its prehistoric rock carvings and mud volcanoes.
Azerbaijan is rich in natural resources, especially oil and natural gas, which form the backbone of the country’s economy. The extraction of these resources occurs mainly in the Caspian Sea basin.
Unfortunately, like many countries, this region also has significant environmental problems.
Oil extraction and refining have caused significant pollution problems, especially in the Baku region.
Salinization and ineffective management of water resources represent a major challenge.
Azerbaijan, with its unique geographic location and abundant natural resources, plays a crucial role in the Caucasus region, both geopolitically and economically.
The official language is Azeri belonging to the Turkic language family. The majority religion is Islam in the Shiite current. The annexation of Azerbaijan by the Great Seljuk Empire in the 11th century played an important role in the formation of the Azerbaijani people.

Climate –
Azerbaijan has a very diverse climate due to its geographical location and diverse topography. Below is a summary of the main climatic characteristics of the country.
Dry Subtropical Climate: The coastal region along the Caspian Sea, including the capital Baku, has a dry subtropical climate. The winters are mild and the summers hot, with little rainfall during the year.
In winter, average temperatures are around 4-8°C, while in summer they can exceed 30°C.
In the mountainous areas we instead have a mountain climate; particularly in regions such as the Greater Caucasus in the north and the Lesser Caucasus in the southwest, the climate is cooler and humid. Winters are cold with heavy snowfall, while summers are cool.
In winter, temperatures can drop below freezing, while in summer temperatures vary between 15-20°C.
In the Kura-Aras plain the climate is dry continental. The vast Kura-Aras plain has a dry continental climate, characterized by large temperature variations between summer and winter.
Winters can be cold, with temperatures dropping below freezing, while summers are hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 35-40°C.
In the Lankaran region the climate is humid subtropical. This region, around Lankaran, has a humid subtropical climate with abundant rainfall throughout the year.
Temperatures in winter vary between 5-10°C, while in summer they can reach 25-30°C.
Precipitation varies greatly from region to region. The coast of the Caspian Sea is relatively arid, while the mountainous regions receive heavier precipitation, often in the form of snow during the winter. The Lankaran region is the wettest in the country.
The coastal region of the Caspian Sea, especially Baku, is known for its strong and constant winds. The cold northern wind, called “Khazri”, can significantly lower temperatures, while the warm southern wind, called “Gilavar”, brings hot, dry air.

Flora –
The flora of Azerbaijan is extremely diverse thanks to the variety of climates, altitudes and soils found in the country. Azerbaijan is located at the crossroads of several biogeographical zones, which contributes to its botanical richness.
There are deciduous forests with oak, beech and hornbeam which are common in mountainous areas, especially in the Greater Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus.
At higher altitudes there are fir and pine trees.
Furthermore, the steppes occupy a large part of the central plains and are dominated by perennial grasses such as fescue and stipa.
In semi-desert and desert areas there are species adapted to drought such as wormwood (Artemisia) and various species of glasswort.
In the coastal and marshy areas, the vegetation of the Caspian Sea includes reeds and halophilous plants adapted to saline soils.
Among the endemic plants and relevant species are:
– Punica granatum (pomegranate): emblematic of Azerbaijan, particularly in the Goychay region.
– Arbutus andrachne (Greek strawberry tree): widespread in mountainous regions.
– Rosa canina (wild rose): common in several areas of the country.
– Quercus iberica (Iberian oak): a species of oak widespread in forests.
In the alpine regions of the Greater Caucasus, the flora is adapted to extreme conditions with species such as:
– Rhododendron caucasicum.
– Gentiana spp. (gentians).
– Primula spp. (primroses).
Azerbaijan has established several national parks and nature reserves to protect its unique flora. Some of the most important parks are:
– Hirkan National Park: Known for its relict Tertiary deciduous forests.
– Shahdagh National Park: Includes a wide range of ecosystems from steppes to alpine forests.

Fauna –
Azerbaijan, located on the border between Europe and Asia, has a rich and diverse fauna thanks to its variety of landscapes, ranging from the Caucasus mountains to the arid plains and coasts of the Caspian Sea.
Among mammals we remember:
– the Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica); a rare and threatened species, the Caucasian leopard lives in mountainous areas. The wolf (Canis lupus), common in mountain and forest regions.
– the wild boar (Sus scrofa): widespread in forests and rural areas.
– The caracal (Caracal caracal): rare feline that lives in arid and semi-arid areas.
– The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus): common in forests and open fields.
– The Caucasian ibex (Capra caucasica) which lives in mountainous areas.
Among the birds we include:
– The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos): predator widespread in mountainous regions.
– The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus): necrophagous bird that lives in mountainous and arid areas.
– The black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi): present in mountain forests.
– The curly pelican (Pelecanus crispus): Inhabits the wetlands and shores of the Caspian Sea.
– The flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus): Common in wetlands and coastal lagoons.
Among reptiles and amphibians we note:
– The Caucasian viper (Vipera kaznakovi): venomous snake that lives in forests and mountain areas.
– The European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis): common in wetlands and rivers.
– The Dalmatian frog (Rana dalmatina): widespread in forests and humid areas.
Among the fish:
– The Caspian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii): fish of great commercial and gastronomic value, present in the Caspian Sea.
– The Caspian trout (Salmo caspius): prized fish that lives in the rivers that flow into the Caspian Sea.
– Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus): Present in mountain lakes.
Finally, the vnvertebrates, with:
– The Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo): rare butterfly species that lives in mountain areas.
– The yellow scorpion (Mesobuthus caucasicus): common in arid and semi-arid areas.
This faunal diversity reflects the wide variety of habitats present in the country, making Azerbaijan a place of great interest for biodiversity.

Guido Bissanti

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