Aksu-Zhabagly conservation is a pearl of the Western Tien Shan which was included to the list of the world's natural reservations. The conservation has a large number (36) of endemic species of plants, about 70% of natural-climatic zones of the region represented on a relatively small area.
The conservation was established in 1926. It has a rich flora and fauna in its ownership. Today there are more than 55 species of birds and animals, over 200 species of plants, many of which are entered in Red Book. Beautiful ranges and cloves of the Tien-Shan mountains, breathtaking canyon of the Aksu river could impress everyone.
In Tyulkubas area there are many other protected natural sites - a karst cave in Akbiik village, walnut grove in Psteli, Mashat gorge and other beautiful places. The unique nature of the Western Tien Shan confirmed UNESCO Commission that has visited the region in July 2003. The Commission called upon to join efforts of the three border states to further conservation of identity of this corner of nature, most of which is located in the South Kazakhstan region. Along with the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassavi Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve is a national pride.
1920 - a group of scientists from Tashkent University, headed by professor-hydrobiologist A.L. Brodsky visits the region of the Western Tien Shan in the area of the current reserve.
1922-1923 - addresses of scientists to Turkestan Committee for Museums and Heritage, art and nature protection with a proposal on the organization of reserve. A group of scientists - botanists M.G. Popov, M.V. Kultiasov, Y.P. Korovin, an ecologist D.N. Kashkarov, soil scientist N.A. Dimo - proves the uniqueness of the landscape and the headwaters of Aksu and Zhabagly rivers.
1923 - the first mention of petroglyphs - rock paintings in Kaskabulak tract was certified by D.N. Kashkarov.
1925 (February-May) - the works on the reserve boundaries definition were conducted.
July 14, 1926 - resolution on the establishment of Aksu-Zhabagly reserve by CPC of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
May 27, 1927 - decision is approved by the CPC of the RSFSR.
1926-1935 y.y. - Russian Geographical Society full member Boris Petrovich Trizna was approved as a director of the reserve.
1937-1959 y.y. - reserve was led by N.H. Karmysheva. As a botanist she specialized in tree species - juniper, dubbed as "tree of life" because of the plant's ability to produce antimicrobial substances.
Later, scientists E.A. Zhirmunskaya, B.S. Serikbayev, A.S. Odintsov were directors of the reserve.
30,545 hectares - the original area of the reserve.
69,826 hectares - an area of the reserve in 1937
75,043 hectares - the current area of the reserve.
The reserve is located on the lands of Tulkubas and Tolebi districts. In addition, paleontological sites are referred to the reserve, located within the Syr-Darya Karatau ridge in Baidibek district (Karabastau spot is the first paleontological reserve of USSR and Aulie place studied as a nature reserve in 1973).
The uniqueness of the protected zone of Aksu-Zhabagly is as follows:
- there are well-preserved remains of plants and animals on the territory of reserve that existed in the waters and on the shores of the lake in the Jurassic period - 140 million years ago. Such places in the world are found in Scotland, India, Japan, Georgia and Tajikistan. But Karatau burial (part of the reserve in Baidibek district) is considered as the most unique and richest of all opened. Furthermore, there are burials, numbering 400 million years old on the neighboring plot of Talas Alatau;
- the basic high-altitude zone of vegetation from semi-deserts to alpine tundra and snow ice belt on1000 to 4280 m above sea level high presented in the mountainous part;
- flora of the reserve is characterized by a high endemicity: nowhere except in Aksu Zhabagly and on the territory of adjacent ranges of the Tien Shan, is not found.
The unique paleontological findings in the Reserve greatly enlarged the world of science, allowed to solve a series of puzzles and find a link in an unbroken chain of life on Earth, as well as to determine the nature and features of climate change in a certain era.
At the core of the reserve, in the Talas Alatau, rich clusters of fossilized animals in the Paleozoic age of more than 400 million years were found.
Our ancestors also left traces. Porphyritic rocks located on the left bank of Zhabagly river at the 3,700 m. elevation above sea level near the top of Kaskabulak. Ancient people left paintings of animals, people, hunting scenes on their smooth flanks. Petroglify represents, for example, red deer, indicating that they are initially lived. These exterminated animals in the late XIX century were brought here again only in the 60s of the last century, only forty years ago. And they are did well.
Aksu Canyon is one of the most picturesque places of Aksu-Zhabagly reserve, the oldest nature reserve in Kazakhstan was founded in 1926 in the mountains of the Western Tien Shan. Aksu is considered one of the largest and deepest canyons in Central Asia for its size (its depth ranges from 300 to 500 meters, the distance between the upper edges of only 800 meters, and length - more than 30 kilometers). The descent into the canyon is quite complex, and the steep bank of the river at many sites make it basically impassable. Good sun-warmed rocks and mountain stream, providing humidity create a microclimate in the canyon of the natural greenhouse; and in addition to the plants found in the rest of the reserve, horsetails, ferns, plants relic of bygone eras can be seen in canyon.