|Location||China (mainland), Xinjiang|
|Central coordinates||89o 30.00' East 37o 30.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i|
|Altitude||3,876 - 4,100m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Site description Located 190 km south of Ruoqiang (Qarkilik) County and 750 km south of Urumqi. The IBA lies at the edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and is a large salt lake adjacent to the Altun Shan and Kunlun Shan mountains. The area of the lake ranges from 51,000 to 65,400 ha, and it is fed by snowmelt and glaciers. The highest peak in the area is named Muztag (6,973 m). The freshwater Yixiekepati Hu lake in the eastern part of the IBA has extensive marshes, and is an important area for both wildlife and people.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Saker Falcon Falco cherrug||unknown||2008||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus||unknown||2008||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis||unknown||2008||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus||unknown||1988||5,000 individuals||unknown||A4i||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Aerjinshan||Nature Reserve||4,500,000||protected area contains site||125,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Forty-nine mammal species have been recorded in the area, including Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Panthra uncia, Ursus arctos, Equus kiang, Ovis ammon, Marmota himalayana, Pantholops hodgsoni, and Bos mutus.
Conservation response The IBA is inside Altun Shan Nature Reserve, which was established in 1983 and upgraded to a national nature reserve in 1985.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ayark Kol and alpine grassland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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