Professor Eldar Rustamov marks 50 years of scientific activity

Meeting with zoologist, Doctor of Biology, Professor Eldar Rustamov who dedicated all his life to study of biological diversity was held at the Biological Department of Magtumguly Turkmen State University.

The scientist has come back recently from Repetek State Biosphere Reserve.The results of the expedition and interesting findings were the main subject of the meeting with members of student zoological club. - During the trip we managed to see birds, the endemics of the Karakums like saxaul jay and desert sparrow from the Red Book, which habitat area is limited by Eastern and Central Karakums, - the scientists said.

From sedentary birds, we saw desert crow, white wing woodpecker, domestic owl, crested lark, cinereous tit.There are 198 species out of 238 known birds living in Karakum Desert in the Reserve.

Turkmen State University is alma mater for the scientist; he studied there himself and taught afterwards, chaired zoological club.The students of those times remember field studies in different natural places of the country where they made their first steps in science, studied the birds, reptiles and other animals.

The selection of the place for studies in anniversary year of scientific activity is not occasional: 50 years ago, 10th grade student Eldar Rustamov visited Repetek for the first time on advice of his father, who was an outstanding biologist of those times, Anver Rustamov.

It provided his professional carrier for the future. - In the childhood, I was more fond of photographing and camera shooting, - Eldar Anverovich recollects.I used to attend the section of Ashgabat Station of Young Technicians and was under impression of the popular Club of Cinema Travellers TV show.

However, the spring of 1969 when I have visited Repetek for the first time has change everything.Ornithologist Ovez Sopiyev became my mentor in the expedition.The nature was recovering after long, very cold winter with plenty of snow that spring.

Some slopes of the dunes still had snow on it.Ovez Sopiyevich took Tayir 3M photo-gun and Krasnogorsk 16-mm camera with him to the expedition.This equipment was very advanced back in those days and we, having armed with it, made journeys to norther and southern saxaul valleys of the Reserve.

Photo hunting of Indian starlings and other birds gave plenty of positive emotions.We managed to capture scops owl, domestic owl, cinereous tit, streaked scrub warbler, hoopoe, white-wing woodpecker, long-legged buzzard and heir.

Meeting with dune cat gave start to the study of the world of wild cats of Turkmenistan, to which I dedicated my first course report.The days of that memorable trip in 1969 were filled with scientific researches, - the scientist shares his memories.

The mansion of the Reserve and entire settlements with Repetek railway station seemed to be a small oasis lost among endless sands.I had a feeling that I am alone in wild nature surrounded by exotic desert monsters the saxaul thickets.

Everyone who has ever been in Karakums had similar feelings… I fell in love with desert forever and I could not think of any profession but zoology.Later, I have visited Eastern Karakums many times and in general, I have managed to work in all nine reserves of our country, to visit natural places of central Asian region as well as went on expedition to Kyzylkums (Uzbekistan), Ustyurt (Kazakhstan), Gobi (Mongolia), Deshte Kevir and Deshte Lut (Iran), Patagonia (Argentina) and Negev (Israel). … The meeting was held in warm atmosphere.

Lecturers of the TSU including desert scientist Maral Amanova took part in the meeting.Elder generation gave advices to young scientists to continue traditions of Turkmen science, to improve the activity in chosen sphere and wished them success in their study.

The participants of the meeting received book “The Birds of Turkmenistan” as a gift.

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