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Location Azerbaijan, Bilasuvar,Jalilabad,Masally,Neftchala
Central coordinates 48o 40.00' East  39o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i
Area 23,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description A shallow saline lake (depth 0.5-2.0 m) with a few small islands. Reedbeds cover large parts of the lake, especially in the central and southern parts. There are some Tamarix groves (largely flooded) along the southern shore. The lake is surrounded by saltwort Salsola semi-desert in the south and cotton fields in the north; there are also some saltmarshes. The lake is rented by the Hunters' Society of Azerbaijan and sheep graze the edges.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding waterbirds, totalling 12,000-15,000 pairs. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Oxyura leucocephala (occasional in winter). Terns and shorebirds (including Charadrius alexandrinus and Chettusia leucura) also occur. Winter waterbird numbers range from 10,000 to 40,000, or more.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1997-2005  600-19,350 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1997-2005  5,674-7,777 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1997-2004  5-10 breeding pairs  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1997-2005  300-1,295 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1997-2005  100-9,390 individuals  medium  B1i  Vulnerable 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  1990-2004  250-6,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  1997-2004  2-200 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis breeding  1990-2004  850-1,500 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1997-2004  825-3,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus breeding  1997-2004  125-800 breeding pairs  poor  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 low near favourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  No management planning has taken place  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
info avialable at AOS 2005


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Desert Semidesert  -
Wetlands (inland) Salt marshes; Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  80%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
hunting major
fisheries/aquaculture major
rangeland/pastureland minor

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lake Mahmudchala. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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