|Central coordinates||53o 16.00' East 39o 20.23' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Site description The IBA is situated in the Turkmenbashy district of the Balkan region and extends from 70 km to the south of Turkmenbashy city to 10 km to the south of Hazar city. The site is a coastal strip (up to 5 km wide) in the western and northern parts of the Southern Cheleken Bay, and covers Garakel, Heles and Ordekli Bays. Garakel Bay includes a settlement where there are two small landing stages for bulk-oil tankers. The population of Garakyol is engaged in fishery and hunting. There is also a tourist base “Heles”.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus||winter||2001-2005||101 individuals||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||2001-2005||233 individuals||good||A1||Near Threatened|
|Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula||winter||2001-2005||27-45,993 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||winter||2001-2005||26 individuals||good||A1||Endangered|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||2001||min 20,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||5%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: border zone|
Other biodiversity The fauna includes 40 species of mammals, half of which are rodents (21 species), the others are predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4), ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species, the most significant are water (Natrix natrix) and grass (Natrix tessellata) snakes 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. Sandy areas are fixed by sparse vegetation: ephedra, a few species of Calligonum, Salsola richteri and saxaul (Haloxylon persicum) which is very rare. Carex physodes also occurs sparsely together with scattered ephemerals.
Protection status Not protected.
References Rustamov A.K., Vasilev V.I. (1976) Natural reserves of USSR (Soviet national ornithological Reserve Krasnovodskiy). – Мoscow. Znanie. (in Russian). Aganbegyan, A.G. (1988) Gara-bogaz-gol yesterday, today, tomorrow. - Ashkhabad: Ylym. (in Russian). Atamuradov, H.I. (1999)Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. - Т.1. - Ashkhabad: Turkmenistan. (in Russian). Rajapov, M. Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English). Rajapov, M. Turkmenistan. Country Study on the Status of Biodiversity.Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South Cheleken Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/10/2014
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