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Location Mongolia, Khovsgol
Central coordinates 99o 56.00' East  49o 56.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 2,400 ha
Altitude 1,544 - 1,850m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description Erkhel Lake is a saline lake surrounded by grassy steppe in Alag-Erdene soum. Freshwater springs feed the lake on the northwestern side, and the bay and islands in this area are favoured by waterbirds. There is no cultivation in the area, and the land is used for nomadic animal husbandry. Salt and soda from the lake are used as mineral additives for local livestock. Consecutive outbreaks of avian influenza were reported from the site in 2005 and 2006.

Key Biodiversity Globally Threatened species that occur at the site are Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Lesser Kestrel F. naumanni (VU) and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). The site supports an assemblage of species restricted to the Eurasian steppe and desert biome. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and Herring Gull Larus argentatus occur in numbers exceeding the 1% of their flyway populations. Good numbers of Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus and Bar-headed Geese Anser indicus moult at the site. Several raptor species were observed passing through the site during southward migration in September 2006, including Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis, Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis, Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Eurasian Hobby F. subbuteo, Common Kestrel F. tinnunculus and Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus. Further raptor observation is needed.

Non-bird biodiversity: The site is not known to be important for other fauna and flora.

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 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug 2009  present  A1  Endangered 
Great Bustard Otis tarda breeding  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Larus argentatus 2009  present  A4i  Not Recognised 


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

Protection status Unprotected

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Erkhel Lake. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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