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Location Azerbaijan, Neftechala,Saliany
Central coordinates 49o 15.00' East  39o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 26,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description An alluvial plain extending inland from the Caspian Sea. Predominantly dry semi-desert steppe with Artemisia and a high diversity of grasses. Canals run across the steppe and there are also saline lakes. The Shorgel lakes, with their rich aquatic vegetation, are fed by irrigation water. Part (c.3,500 ha) of this wetland lies within the reserve, the remainder extending into a contiguous Zakaznik.

Key Biodiversity Among breeding birds at this IBA are Ardea purpurea, Tadorna ferruginea, T. tadorna, Netta rufina, Circus aeruginosus, Francolinus francolinus, Burhinus oedicnemus, Charadrius alexandrinus and Gelochelidon nilotica. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria (all observed in winter): Anser erythropus (27 in 1996), Aegypius monachus, Haliaeetus albicilla, Aquila heliaca. Other wintering birds include Phoenicopterus ruber (200-300), also wildfowl (Cygnus cygnus and others), Fulica atra, etc. Report of 20,000-35,000 wintering wildfowl, while 150,000-200,000 stage at the site in autumn. Aquila nipalensis also occurs on passage.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  240 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  50 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1,000 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax winter  1996  900 individuals  A1  Near Threatened 
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio breeding  1990  4,000 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2008 low favourable high
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low

Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation  26000 26000 100 good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Shirvan goryhy Zapovednik 25,800 protected area contained by site 25,800  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
info avialable at AOS 2005


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  40%
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -

Protection status National High International None26,000 ha of IBA covered by Zapovednik (Shirvan goryhy, 26,000 ha). Zakaznik of 22,000 ha adjacent.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Shorgel lakes/Shirvan reserve. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife