Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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Kazakhstan, Almaty region
78o 45.00' East 43o 18.00' North
1,200 - 2,413m
Year of IBA assessment
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.