Ile-Alatau National Park is a national park in Kazakhstan. It was created in 1996 and covers about 200,000 ha. It is situated in the mountains south of Almaty between Gorge Turgen in the east and Chemolgan River in the west. The National Park borders Almaty Nature Reserve, which is located around Pik Talgar.
The landscape includes woodlands, alpine meadows, glaciers and lakes, including Big Almaty Lake. Remarkable trees include apricot, maple, and apple. A total of 300 species of birds and animals have been recorded from the Ile-Alatau National Park. The park is home to snow leopards, Central Asian lynx, Tian Shan brown bears, Central Asian stone martens, Siberian ibexes, bearded vultures and golden eagles. Other notable bird species found in Ile-Alatau National Park include Himalayan snowcock, ibisbill, Eurasian scops owl, and Eurasian three-toed woodpecker. The park also protects specific species of deer whose antlers are believed to have medicinal properties.
The climate in the national park is diverse and differentiated by altitude climatic zones. Summers are warm, winters are mild due to a pronounced inversion of air temperature. In the foothills, the average January temperature is -7.4°С, July + 23°С, the duration of the frost-free period is 181 days, 560 mm of precipitation falls per year. In the Maloalmatinsky gorge (Medeu tract), at an altitude of 1530 m, the temperature in January is -4.3°C, in July + 18.1°C, the duration of the frost-free period is 145 days, 843 mm of precipitation falls per year. At an altitude of 3035 m (Mynzhilki tract), in conditions of eternal snow and glaciers, the average January temperature is −11.3°С, July + 7°С, the duration of the frost-free period is 53 days, 734 mm of precipitation falls annually. In the high-mountainous part of the Zailiyskiy Alatau at an altitude of 3750 m, the climate is harsh, there is a lot of precipitation – 800-1300 mm, mainly in the form of snow. The warm period is very short – the average air temperature on the glaciers in summer does not exceed + 2.8°С.
Snow cover according to long-term observations in the foothills (850 m) is established on December 6, in the middle mountains (1200-2500 m) – a month earlier, in the highlands (3000 m) – on October 21. In spring, snow melts at different heights and in different mountains from March 10 to May 22. The number of days with snow cover at different altitudes varies from 111 to 236. The height of the snow cover in the foothills is about 30 cm, in the middle and high mountains it can reach 100 cm.
The Zailiyskiy Alatau stands as a high forward barrier on the way of the northern and northwestern moisture-carrying air masses, which freely penetrate through the main valleys deep into the mountains, causing a clear differentiation of natural landscapes at altitude. The territory of the park covers low-mountain, mid-mountain and high-mountain landscapes, which reflect the layered structure of the mountains.
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