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Location Kazakhstan, South-Kazakhstan region
Central coordinates 68o 11.00' East  41o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 96,010 ha
Altitude 270 - 318m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (Affiliate)

Site description The reservoir is situated in the most southern part of Kazakhstan, at the Syr-Darya river, 170 km from the regional centre, Shymkent city. The reservoir was created after dam construction. The northern bank is hilly, with ravines and clay soils (used mainly as a grazing area), the southern bank is flat, with sandy soils (agriculture area for cotton, corn etc.). The area is one of most populated regions of South Kazakhstan and is heavily used for agriculture. Water from the Chardara Reservoir is widely used for agriculture. There are intensive fisheries here, and (in autumn-winter) hunting. There are some resorts (hotels, camp sites). At the dam, there is a hydro-electric power-station. The reservoir is a place of mass wintering of tens of thousands of waterbirds.

Key Biodiversity The reservoir is a place of mass wintering of tens of thousands of water-birds. In first years after construction of the reservoir in 1968, more than 40,000 waterfowl wintered here (Auezov, 1972). During the last ten years, more than 100,000 waterbirds have wintered here, including globally threatened species. In December 2003- January 2004, 69 species were observed, including 30 waterbird species with a total number of about 180,000.

Non-bird biodiversity: About 20 species of fish, including Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Hypophtalmichtus molitrix, Ctenopharingodon ideilla, Ophiocephalus argus have been recorded. Mammals include Ondatra zibethica and Arvicola terrestris (aquatic)and Canis lupus, Canis aureus, Vulpes vulpes, Vulpes corsac, Meles meles and Lepus tolai (terrestrial).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  2003  500-50,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  2003  1,000-50,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2003  1,000-30,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  2003  1,000-20,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Smew Mergellus albellus winter  2003  100-3,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Goosander Mergus merganser winter  2003  50-2,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  2003  50-1,000 individuals  good  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  2003  20-500 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2003  20,000 individuals  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high unfavourable negligible
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species direct mortality of trigger species - hunting and trapping happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry plantations  0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Artificial - terrestrial Highly improved reseeded grasslands  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards & groves  0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Artificial - terrestrial Ruderal land  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland) Standing fresh water  0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland) Water-fringe vegetation  0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires & springs; Rivers & streams; Standing fresh water; Water-fringe vegetation  90%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Highly improved reseeded grasslands; Perennial crops, orchards & groves; Ruderal land  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 10%
fisheries/aquaculture 65%
forestry 2%
hunting 5%
tourism/recreation 2%
water management 90%

References Auezov, E.M. and Bikbulatov, M.N. (1972). [Wintering of waterfowl at Chardara reservoir in 1969]. Resources of waterfowl game in USSR, their use and protection. Moscow: 185-187. (In Russian).Yerokhov, S.N. and Belyalov, O.V. (2004). [Observation on wintering of birds at Chardara reservoir in December 2003]. Kazakhstan Ornithological Bulletin 2003: 38-40. (in Russian).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chardara Reservoir. Downloaded from on 22/11/2014

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