Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Shorgel lakes/Shirvan reserve
49o 15.00' East 39o 30.00' North
A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Year of IBA assessment
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.