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Location Turkmenistan, Balkan
Central coordinates 52o 54.70' East  41o 3.22' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 1,227 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (Country programme)

Site description The IBA is located in the western part of the large sea lagoon - the Bay of Garabogazgol - which is separated from the Caspian Sea by a long sandy isthmus. In the central part a narrow passage divides the isthmus into northern and southern sections. This passage, with a width of no more than 300 m and length of no more than 10 km, connects the sea to the bay. The bay has no constant inflows and receives water from the Caspian Sea. There is a delta area where deposition of inorganic substances (salts, sand crystals) and organic materials (seaweed, molluscs), create spits and small islands, a dynamic process affecting the delta and animal populations (fish and birds).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula winter  2007  1,000-12,614 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug winter  2007  1 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2007  min 20,000 individuals  medium  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   5%
Desert   5%
Wetlands (inland)   10%
Sea   80%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 89%
Notes: (border zone)
other 5%
urban/industrial/transport 1%
unknown 5%

Other biodiversity The fauna includes 40 species of mammal, half from which are rodents (21 species), the others being predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4), ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species, the most significant being the 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 consists of halophytic and salsolas communities. Sandy areas though are fixed by vegetation, but it is sparse: ephedra, a few species of Calligonum, Salsola richteri, saxaul (Haloxylon persicum - rare). Carex physodes also occurs sparsely togther with ephemerals.

Protection status Not protected.

References H.I. Atamuradov.(1999) Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. Turkmenistan. (in Russian). A.G. Aganbegyan. Gara-bogaz-gol yesterday, today, tomorrow. - Ashkhabad: Ylym, 1988. (in Russian).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karabogaz. Downloaded from on 20/10/2014

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