email a friend
printable version
Location Azerbaijan, Imishli
Central coordinates 48o 10.00' East  40o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2
Area 11,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Azerbaijan Ornithological Society (Partner Designate)

Site description A system of saline lakes with vast reedbeds, 3 areas of open water (the eastern by far the largest), a few small islands, shallows, etc.; the bottom is covered by Potamogeton. Formerly connected to the Kura river during the spring flood, but water-levels are now dependent on irrigation channels.

Key Biodiversity One of the best sites for waterbirds in the interior of Azerbaijan with 70,000-150,000 wintering birds usually (90% of them are ducks: Aythya ferina, Netta rufina, Anas acuta, Anas platyrhynchos etc.). Other breeding birds include greebs, herons (Ardeidae), some ducks, Coot (Fulica atra), shorebirds (Himantopus himantopus, Vanellus leucura, Glareola pratincola etc.), some gulls and terns, Francolinus francolinus and Alcedo atthis. Phoenicopterus ruber is a rare visitor throughout the year and Asio flammeus occurs rarely in winter. There are some raptor like Circus aeruginosus, C. cyaneus, Haliaeetus albicilla, Accipiter brevipes occur on the place in different seasons.

Non-bird biodiversity: There are 10 main species of water plants on the lake: Phragmites communis, Scirpus lacustris, Typha angustifolia etc. The Cyprinus carpio, Abramis brama orientalis, Esox licius and Silurus glanis are common fishes on the lake. Mammals on the lake and surrounding lands are presented by Myocastor coypus, Canis lupus, C. aureus and Sus scrofa.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1993-2004  3,000-45,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus winter  1993-2004  41 individuals  medium  A1  Vulnerable 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1993-2004  1,000-10,000 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1993-2004  1,000-8,000 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1993-2004  2,000-27,661 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris resident  1993-2004  7-35 breeding pairs  poor  A1, A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1993-2004  30,000-247,250 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1993-2004  25,725-97,250 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca resident  1993-2004  80-197 breeding pairs  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  1993-2004  80-6,130 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  1993-2004  200-1,500 individuals  medium  A1, A4i, B1i  Endangered 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus resident  1993-2004  20-184 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1993-2004  200-662 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus breeding  1993-2004  130-953 breeding pairs  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1996-2004  150-300 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  1993-2004  12-47 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1993-2004  323-1,158 individuals  medium  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla winter  1993-2004  2-10 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio resident  800-1,000 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra resident  1993-2004  9,500-27,500 individuals  medium  B1i  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1993-2004  167-700 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1993  500,000-999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

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

Name Year formed
info avialable at AOS 1996


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 10%
fisheries/aquaculture 90%
urban/industrial/transport 15%
hunting 90%

Protection status National None International None

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: Lake Sarysu. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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