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Location Kazakhstan, Almaty region
Central coordinates 78o 45.00' East  43o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 38,565 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 2,413m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (Affiliate)



Site description The site consists of xerophytic rocky mountains being the eastern spurs of the Zailiyskiy Alatau (Northern Tian-Shan), 180 km to the east of Almaty - the largest city of Kazakhstan. The Zhalanash Mountain valley ajoins the area from the south, and the Syugaty valley from the north. The eastern border of the IBA is the Charyn river canyon, the west border the Chilik river. The ridge slopes have a lot of ravines, with hills, and rock ledges of various size. There are several springs. The slopes are covered with sparse grassy vegetation, there are groups of bushes in the hollows, and in some gorges in the western part of the area small patches of spruce forest. The higher part of the area, especialy in the south, is a grassy hilly plateau used for pasture.

Key Biodiversity The area provides good breeding and foraging conditions for a number of species of raptors: Falco cherrug, F. naumanni, F. tinnunculus, Aquila chrysaetos, Buteo rufinus etc. There is a complex of breeding species typical for dry rocky mountains of the Tian-Shan spurs, with birds of the desert zone as well as species of the Irano-Turanian mountains: Alectoris chukar, Athene noctua, Coracias garrulus, Eremophila alpestris, Ptyonoprogne rupestris, Monticola saxatilis, M. solitarius, Oenanthe pleschanka, Oe. isabellina, Petronia petronia, Bucanetes mongolicus, Corvus corax, Emberiza bruniceps, E. stewarti, E. buchanani, E. cia etc.

Non-bird biodiversity: Vegetation of the open slopes is mainly short grasses (Festuca sp., Poa sp.), in the hollows there are scattered miscellaneous herbs, of bushes Spirea sp., Rosa sp., Cerasus tianschanica, Ephedra sp., Caragana frutex are typical; Salix sp. are observed near springs, in some places there are small patches of spruce forest (Picea schrenkiana). Typical mammals: Capra sibirica, Capreolus pygargus, Vulpes vulpes, Canis lupus, Meles meles, Lepus tolai, a number of rodents - Rhombomis opimus, Citellus relictus, Microtus sp., Alticola sp. etc.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug breeding  2005  3-5 breeding pairs  good  A1  Endangered 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2005  20 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus non-breeding  2005  5 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2006  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2006 high unfavourable not assessed
  Habitat
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 majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Grassland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Rocky areas   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Alma-Atinskiy Zakaznik 724,000 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Charynskiy National Nature Park 93,150 protected area overlaps with site 5,000  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   minor
Shrubland   5%
Grassland   80%
Rocky areas   15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
rangeland/pastureland 60%
Notes: pasture for sheeps, horses, cows
nature conservation and research 10%
Notes: east part of the area is included in Charyn State National Nature Park
tourism/recreation minor
Notes: Less than 5%; plots near Charyn canyon, with hign intencity.
not utilised 30%

Protection status The eastern part (about 5,000 ha) is included in the Charynskiy National Nature Park. An increase in the area of the Park is planned, and this will include more of the IBA.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Toraygyr Ridge. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

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