Azerbaijan is a transcontinental country located at the boundary of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the South Caucasus region, and is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south.
The first reports on the richness and diversity of animal life in Azerbaijan can be found in travel notes of Eastern travelers. Animal carvings on architectural monuments, ancient rocks, and stones survived up to the present times. The first information on flora and fauna of Azerbaijan was collected during the visits of naturalists to Azerbaijan in the 17th century.
There are 106 species of mammals, 97 species of fish, 363 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians, and 52 species of reptiles which have been recorded and classified in Azerbaijan. The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse, a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse endemic to Azerbaijan. The Karabakh horse has a reputation for its good temper, speed, elegance, and intelligence. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world, but today the horse is an endangered species.
Azerbaijan's flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due to the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other republics of the South Caucasus. 66 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan. The country lies within four ecoregions: Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests, Caucasus mixed forests, Eastern Anatolian montane steppe, and Azerbaijan shrub desert and steppe. Azerbaijan had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.55/10, ranking it 72nd globally out of 172 countries.