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Closer look: Tajikistan’s Darwin Scholars

Written by: Dr Alex Diment
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Darwin InitiativeThrough our National Conservation Training Program, with funding from DEFRA’s Darwin Initiative, Fauna & Flora International is investing in the future, and mentoring five postgraduate students to complete their research in important conservation issues.

The students are all pursuing Masters Degrees, within the institutes affiliated with the Tajik National Academy of Sciences.

Faridun Rahimov

Conservation status of pheasant populations in Tajikistan

Faridun is studying pheasants in Tajikistan, where they are on the very edge of their range. In addition, he has a wide interest in many bird species, and is working on updating the distribution maps of several little-known birds.

Safina Nazarmamadova

Artemisia (wormwood) communities of the Western Pamirs; biology, conservation and sustainable use

Safina is studying the wormwood plant communities in the Western Pamir mountain region. In this very remote and high-altitude region, wormwood species are an important component of traditional medicines, and with short growing seasons, there are also serious concerns about overharvesting, and little information on their status. She will be investigating a wide range of these issues in her research, including the extent of international trade in these species.

Loik Nabiev

Status and conservation of rodents in the hamster family (Cricetidae) in Tajikistan

Loik is studying rodents in Tajikistan, trying to further understand the distribution and abundance of little known species such as the Tien Shan Vole and the Zaizan Mole. These animals form a vital part of the ecosystem of the high mountains.

Gulomali Musoev

Biodiversity and protection of the geophytic plants of Eastern Tajikistan

Gulomali is a mature student, who has returned to his studies on botanical conservation after more than a decade in Russia. He is originally from the village near to the famous Fedchenko Glacier, and his studies focus on alpine plants in that region. Many of these unique plant species are highly threatened by overharvesting. In addition to his studies, he has recently become a father.

Suhailo Davlatbekova

Maintaining diversity of Tajikistan’s arboreal plants in response to global climate change

Suhailo is studying epiphytic and parasitic plants across the country. This little-known group of plants is the most sensitive group among the flora to climate change, and could provide an early warning of changes in the ecology of the mountains. She also volunteers part-time at the Khorog Botanical Gardens – the second highest in the world.

Written by
Dr Alex Diment

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