Big Pamir

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The Big Pamir is a large valley bordered by the Amu Daria (Oxus River) and the border with Tajikistan to the North and the Wakhan Valley to the South. It comprises the famous Lake Zor Kol (Lake Victoria).

The mountain ranges are characterized by perpetual snow and glaciers from which streams drain north into the Amu Daria and south into the Wakhan River. The southwestern slopes of the Big Pamir provide grazing for transhumance Wakhi herding families with settled homes in the villages along the Wakhan Valley. The northeastern section of the Big Pamir Mountains is inhabited by yurt-dwelling Turkic Kyrghyz herding families, living all year in their felt yurts; tending their flocks of sheep and goats as well as cattle, yaks, horses, and Bactrian camels; and moving seasonally over the mountain range, although inevitably and seriously restricted by the 19th century political frontiers.

The Big Pamir is also the home of the Marco Polo sheep, as well as Ibex, urial, snow leopard, brown bear, lynx, wolf, fox, the long tailed marmot, various wildcats, martens, weasels, otters, hares, pikas and small rodents.


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