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Goygol district

Goygol district is located on the mountainous and foothill zone in the west of Azerbaijan, 364 km away from Baku. Its highest point is 3724 metres above the sea level. Goygol raion borders on administrative districts of Samukh to the north, Goranboy to the east, Kalbajar to the south, Dashkasan to the west, Shamkir to the north-west and Ganja city to the north. It has an area of 935,700 km2 and population of 63,000. Climate indicators of Goygol district vary according to altitude. Humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa) is dominant and followed by cold semi-arid, warm humid continental and hot humid continental. Annual average temperature in Goygol is 12.4°C and annual average rainfall is 424 mm.

Goygol and 7 identical lakes – Maralgol, Zaligol, Aghgol, Shamligol, Ordekgol, Jeyrangol and Garagol are located in the territory of Goygol district. Lake Goygol is situated on the foothill of Mount Kapaz at an altitude of 1556 meters. The length of the lake is 2450 meters, and its width is 595 meters, the deepest point is 95 meters.

Maralgol is located 1902 meters above the sea level. It has an area of 23 hectares with the deepest point of 60 meters. The lake is surrounded with sub-alpine grasslands. The main rivers flowing through the district are Kurekchay, Ganjachay and Goshgarchay. Kurekchay river is the longest with 108 km length. The second longest river is Ganjachay with 98 kilometers length. The rivers are mainly used for irrigation. Water level in the rivers increases during summer.

The forests rich with Oriental beech, Caucasian Hornbeam, Caucasian oak and Oriental oak trees cover 17.3% of the territory of the Goygol district. There are separate or mixed forests on various slopes of mountainous areas. Horn-beam in southern slopes, beech, beech-hornbeam in northern slopes, Caucasian and Oriental oaks, also oak-hornbeam in the upper forest zone are in abundance. Pine trees grow on limestone rocks. There are also birches in upper areas of forests and different types of other trees and shrubs such rosa canina, honeysuckles, sorbus, raspberries, crataegus, euonymus, cherry plum in the lower parts of forests.

Goygol National Park was founded in April, 2008 on the base of Goygol State Nature Reserve established in 1925, in the territories of administrative raions of Goygol, Goranboy and Dashkasan. Goygol National Park is located at an altitude between 1100 and 3065 meters. It has a total of 12755 hectares area including 6739 hectares of Goygol State Reserve, 1577 hectares forests, 3909 hectares of Goygol district, 300 hectares of Dashkasan district and 230 hectares of Goranboy district. There are 76 types of trees and shrubs in the forest of Goygol National Park including Oriental beech, Oriental oak, Caucasian hornbeam, hook-shaped pines, birchs, maples, cornelian cherry, elderberry, blackberry, rosa canina, common hazel and medlar. The fauna of the National park is diverse with Caucasian deer, roe deer, badger, forest cat, sable, lynx, hare, squirrel, fox, hedgehog, grey partridge and others