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Location Mongolia, Khovd
Central coordinates 91o 24.00' East  46o 3.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 36,800 ha
Altitude 1,133 - 1,751m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description The Bulgan River rises on the southern slopes of the Mongol Altai mountain range and flows into Ulungur Lake in China. The site comprises a section of the Bulgan River valley, where the river divides into numerous large and small streams creating islands and isolated water bodies. At the source of the river and in the valleys of its tributary rivers, there are a number of small lakes. The sides of the Bulgan River valley support desert-steppe vegetation, while good wet riparian habitat is found along the bottom of the valley. There are numerous bays, such as Tsagaan Ereg, Sanjiin Tohoi, Balar Tohoi and Elst Tohoi, with dense reed and shrub vegetation.

Key Biodiversity Bulgan River is an important stopover site for various migratory passerines, waterbirds and shorebirds. Globally Threatened species that regularly migrate through the site are Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN), Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (VU) and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (VU).

Non-bird biodiversity: A small population of Mongolian Beaver Castor fiber birulai exists along the Bulgan River. A hydroelectric dam in the Chinese section of Bulgan River may create a barrier to migration and cause habitat fragmentation along the river.

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 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Relict Gull Larus relictus 2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bulgan River Nature Reserve 7,654 protected area contained by site 7,654  


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

Protection status Partially protected by Bulgan River Nature Reserve.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bulgan River. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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