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Location Mongolia, Bayan-Olgii,Uvs
Central coordinates 90o 32.00' East  49o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 73,700 ha
Altitude 1,435 - 1,863m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description Achit Lake is a shallow, tectonic lake, located at the boundary of Uvs and Bayan-Olgii aimags. There are a variety of habitats from semi-desert habitat near the lake, through steppe habitat to meadows. The lake is frozen from November until May. The Tsagaan, Khatuugiin, Bukhmurun and Uliastai rivers and many other streams are tributaries of the lake. Parts of the site (specifically the channel between Achit Lake and the Khovd River and Dewel Island along the Khovd River) are designated as a nature reserve, and most of the site lies within Lake Achit and its surrounding wetlands Ramsar Site. Along the Bukhmurun River basin and delta, households from Nogoon and Bukhmurun practice nomadic animal husbandry during the winter and spring. In winter, people practice small-scale commercial fishing. This is a suitable site for recreation, sport hunting and ecotourism development. Threats to biodiversity include destruction of lakeshore vegetation by livestock, poorly managed tourism and uncontrolled commercial fishing. The water level of the lake has fallen in recent years due to drought.

Key Biodiversity Globally Threatened species using the site comprise Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN), Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata (EN), Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (VU), Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (VU) and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). The site supports assemblages of species restricted to the Eurasian steppe and desert and Eurasian high montane biomes. The site regularly supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus and Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea.

Non-bird biodiversity: Several nationally threatened fish species occur at the site, such as Lake Osman Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus, Small Osman O. humilis and Mongolian Grayling Thymallus revirostris. In the 1970s, Mongolian Beaver Castor fiber birulai was successfully introduced into the waters of Khovd River and now inhabits Dewel Island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swan Goose Anser cygnoid breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Chlamydotis undulata 2009  present  A1  Not Recognised 
Great Bustard Otis tarda breeding  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Develyn aral Nature Reserve 10,300 unknown 0  
Lake Achit and its surrounding wetlands Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 73,730 is identical to site 73,700  


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

Protection status Partially protected by Deevel Aral Nature Reserve

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Achit Lake. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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