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Looking forwardIn recent years, scientists have sought to expand Kazakhstan's Ustyurt Nature Reserve into Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. According to Dr Rémy Crassard from the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the Global Kites' project leader, "The kites' makers required social cooperation and ecological awareness to design, create and use these giant traps. Preserving the area allows us to continue our archaeological research, learn more about the region's ecology and [understand] how past and present humans interact with the environment."

Scientists like Crassard hope that through multilateral collaboration and unified land-management policies, expanding the reserve could lead to future Unesco World Heritage status, which would provide funding for long-term protection from poaching and non-sustainable development. (Credit: Matthew Traver)

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Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Kyrgyzstan Asia Kazakhstan