email a friend
printable version
Location Mongolia, Bayan-Olgii
Central coordinates 88o 25.00' East  48o 35.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 34,000 ha
Altitude 2,072 - 3,245m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description The Khoton-Khorgon Lakes are located at the source of Khovd River in Tsengel soum. They comprise a series of freshwater lakes, of glacial origin, connected by the 3 km-long Sargaal Channel. The lakes are frozen from December until June. Although the lakes are rich in fish, no commercial fishing is practiced at the site. The main land use in the area surrounding the lakes is livestock grazing. The lakes are surrounded by the Mongol Altai mountain range, with extensive forests, snow fi elds and glaciers.

Key Biodiversity Two Globally Threatened species are found at the site: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (VU) and Whitethroated Bushchat Saxicola insignis (VU). The site also supports bird communities characteristic of the Eurasian steppe and desert and Eurasian high montane biomes, as well as Mongolian Accentor Prunella koslowi, the restricted range species that defines the Mongolian Mountains Secondary Area. The site regularly supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of the following congregatory waterbird species: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Several nationally threatened fish species listed in the Mongolian Red List of Fishes inhabit the Khoton- Khorgon lakes, including Lake Osman Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus, Small Osman O. humilis and Mongolian Grayling Thymallus revirostris.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula breeding  2004  present  A3, A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus breeding  2004  present  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis breeding  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Mongolian Accentor Prunella koslowi 2009  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Altai Tavan Bogd National Conservation Park 636,161 unknown 0  


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

Protection status Fully protected by Altai Tavan Bogd National Park

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Khoton-Khorgon Lakes. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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