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Location China (mainland), Qinghai
Central coordinates 100o 50.00' East  37o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 495,200 ha
Altitude 3,190 - 3,200m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description Qinghai Hu is the largest saline lake in China. The five islands in the lake provided breeding habitats for waterbirds. More than 50 freshwater streams and marshes around the lake are used as feeding and resting areas by birds.

Key Biodiversity 

Non-bird biodiversity: Procapra przewalskii is distributed near to the lake. The fish Gymnocypris przewalskii is an important fishery product from the lake.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta unknown  2008  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus breeding  1990  6,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea unknown  2008  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca unknown  2008  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding  1960-1969  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus unknown  2008  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo breeding  1995  2,100 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis breeding  2008  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus breeding  2008  4,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2008  present  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Niaodao (Bird Island) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 53,600 protected area contained by site 53,600  
Qinghaihuniaodao Nature Reserve 495,200 is identical to site 495,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -
Forest   -
Grassland   -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Qinghai Hu (Koko Nor). Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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