email a friend
printable version
Location Mongolia, Khovd
Central coordinates 93o 5.00' East  48o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 25,200 ha
Altitude 1,132 - 1,254m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description Khar Lake is a freshwater lake, located at the boundary of Khovd and Zawkhan aimags, in the Great Lakes Depression. The Chono Kharah River flows into the lake. Khar Lake drains into the Zawkhan River via the Tatakhan-Teel River, and it is connected to Durgun Lake through the Khom Channel and Nogoon Lake. There are marshes and reed beds around the Shuwuun Aral peninsula. The lake is frozen from November until April. The lake is surrounded by semi-desert vegetation. Livestock grazing is the main land use at the site, with some hay meadows, and a commercial Potanin’s Osman Oreoleuciscus potanini fishery. Commercial fishing is unregulated and fi sh stocks are not well assessed. There are also concerns about the growth of poisonous algae in the lake and an introduced fish species. The IBA overlaps with Khar Us Lake National Park Ramsar Site.

Key Biodiversity Khar Lake regularly supports the following Globally Threatened species: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (VU); White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (EN); Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN); and Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (VU). The lake regularly supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Whiteheaded Duck Oxyura leucocephala, Greylag Goose Anser anser, Bar-headed Goose A. indicus, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, Common Merganser Mergus merganser, Common Crane Grus grus, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus and Caspian Tern Sterna caspia.

Non-bird biodiversity: Two nationally threatened fish species, Lake Osman Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus and Mongolian Grayling Thymallus revirostris, inhabit the lake. A small group of young saxaul trees is found in southwest of the area. This is the northernmost location of this plant species.

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 
Greylag Goose Anser anser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula breeding  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Goosander Mergus merganser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala breeding  2004  present  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus breeding  2004  present  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Crane Grus grus breeding  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Har Us Nuur National Conservation Park 850,272 protected area contains site 0  


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

Protection status Fully protected by Khar Us Lake 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: Khar Lake. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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