A Peek Into Kazakhstan’s “Protected Corners”

“Protected Corners of Kazakhstan,” a new book of photos by Vladislav Yakushkin and texts by well-known writer and naturalist Boris Shcherbakov, brings to vivid life some of Kazakhstan’s most unique and remote reaches and by showing their beauty seeks to inspire a spirit of protection and conservation in its readers.

Included in the album are the splendours of the Semirechie region, the Kolsay Lakes and Charyn Canyon, Altyn-Emel National Park in Southeast Kazakhstan, the Aksu-Zhabagly Reserve and the deserts of Southern Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, the Ustyurt plateau, the Aktolagay region of Western Kazakhstan, Borovoye, Bayanaul National Park, Karkaralinsk, Alakol Lake, Markakol Lake, Katon Karagai, the West Altay Reserve and the colourful deserts of Eastern Kazakhstan.

Vast territories of the country, from the Caspian Sea in the west to the snowy peaks of the Tien Shan and Altai Mountains in the east, from the deserts of the south to the steppe plains of Western Siberia in the north, amaze with the richness and diversity of their landscapes, flora and fauna. Presenting the book to its readers, Professor Vladimir Kazenas writes that “An inquisitive naturalist and artist-photographer finds objects worthy of his attention everywhere. But there are parts of Kazakhstan where nature has created a fantastic beauty of landscape with a rich and unique world of plants and animals. The book tells about such protected corners. Its author, the well-known photographer and naturalist, explorer and member of the Professional Photographers of the United States, Vladislav Yakushkin, traveled all over Kazakhstan. He visited not only tourist destinations but also the most remote and inaccessible corners.” Yakushkin found and took photos of everything from rare butterflies and flowers to majestic rock piles, intricately dissected hills and spectacular sunsets. These photos demonstrate the technical skill of the photographer and his talent as an artist who manages to capture nature in its most positive and emotionally expressive form. And as all the photos are provided with explanatory captions giving valuable information, the book is not only a great keepsake of Kazakhstan, but a geography and biology guide.

The authors hope to inspire a love of nature and respect for its inhabitants at a time when natural environments are increasingly threatened by pollution, urban sprawl and human apathy. “Let’s believe that there will be changes in the consciousness of people and books like the new photo album by Vladislav Yakushkin will help,” Kazenas concluded.

Scientists Ikar Borodikhin, Ivan Bevze and Polina Veselova helped the authors of the book identify the animals and plants pictured.

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