|Central coordinates||52o 52.60' East 40o 47.43' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Ornithological information The avifauna includes not less than 280 species, of which 240 (86%) are passage-wintering birds, including 120 (43%) species of waterbirds. These represent 46 and 23% from the total avifauna of Central Asia respectively. Passeriformes are the most common (96 species), followed by Haematopodidae (45), Anseriformes (28), Falconiformes (27) and Laridae (16). The most typical, only on migration, are coots and ducks (Netta rufina, Aythya ferina, Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya fuligula, Aythya marila, Anas penelope, etc.), plus waders, gulls and terns. The IBA is located on a major migratory flyway along the east coast of the Caspian. In spring there is a high turnover rate of waterbirds, with migration from the middle of March to the end of April. In autumn the migration shows several peaks and is prolonged lasting from the end of August to the beginning and middle of November. The following species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999) have been recorded: Platalea leucorodia, Phoenicopterus roseus, Anthropoides virgo, Buteo buteo, Pandion haliaetus, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Falco peregrinus, Circaetus gallicus, Burhinus oedicnemus, and also the non-migratory Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug and Bubo bubo. The globally threatened Vanellus gregarius and Aquila heliaca have also been recorded.
Site description The IBA is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea between the Garshy (80 km to the north of Turkmenbashy) and the border with Kazakhstan. The site covers a narrow strip of coast (no more than 2-3 km wide) and includes the following areas: from Cape Sue to Garbogazgol (650 hectares); from Garabogazgol to Cape Duldulata (330 hectares); from Cape Duldulata to the Garabogazgol passage (660 hectares); from the Garabogazgol passage to Aim (397 hectares); and from Aim to Garshy (415 hectares). The site, especially the last mentioned, abounds with small coves and bays alternating with underwater and surface stony ridges. In general the coast is low lying and sandy, 50 to 100 m wide with scattered areas of pebbles and bordered by a strip of hilly ridges with fixed sand, in some places forming large barkhan ranges, in the hollows of which there are occasional small patches of saltmarsh (solonchaks).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina||winter||2005||133-3,160 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis||winter||2005||8-1,010 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis||winter||2005||312 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Saker Falcon Falco cherrug||winter||2005||1 individuals||good||A1||Endangered|
|Common Coot Fulica atra||winter||2005||100-10,012 individuals||good||Least Concern|
|Slender-billed Gull Larus genei||passage||2005||9-1,888 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||-||-||present [units unknown]||-||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||5%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: border zone|
Other biodiversity The fauna includes 40 species of mammal, half of which are rodents (21 species), the others are predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4) and ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species, the most significant are snakes Natrix natrix and Natrix tessellata and the Central Asian agama (Agama sanguinolenta). The flora includes more than 370 species of higher plants. The vegetation of the coast is represented by halophytic and salsolas communities. Some sandy areas have fixed vegetation, but this is rare with ephedra, a few species of Calligonum, Salsola richteri, and saxaul (Haloxylon persicum). Carex physodes together with sparse ephemerals also occurs rarely.
Management considerations At present, the ecosystem of the IBA is considered to be in a safe condition. The greatest threats are considered to be pollution of the coast with household rubbish, illegal hunting and illegal fishing, especially of sturgeon. The populations of the small settlements of Garabogazgol, Aim and Garshy are engaged in fishing, hunting and partially livestock. Construction of tourist complexes at Garshy has recently extended. The IBA is in a border zone and therefore exposed to small scale military-economic pollution (eg dumping of rubbish, etc.).
Protection status Not protected.
Conservation response During the second half of the last century extensive ornithological works were carried out by employees of the Khazar reserve, but in spite of this the IBA is still unprotected and is not listed in the protected areas of Turkmenistan. Almost annual counts of passage-wintering waterfowl were carried out from 1971-2005 under the direction of Vasilev V.I. On adjoining desert areas employees of the Turkmenbashy antiplague stations carried out surveys, especially from 1960-1990, of the distribution and number of mammals of region, particularly rodents and predators.
References A.G. Aganbegyan. (1988) Gara-bogaz-gol yesterday, today, tomorrow. - Ashkhabad: Ylym,. (in Russian). H.I. Atamuradov (1999) Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. - V.1. - Ashkhabad: Turkmenistan, (in Russian). M. Rajapov. (2002) Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. (in Russian). M. Rajapov. (2002) Turkmenistan. Country Study on the Status of Biodiversity. Ashgabat. (in Russian).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Garabogaz - Garshy. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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