Sites - Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs)
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64o 26.58' East 40o 8.38' North
240 - 252m
Year of IBA assessment
Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)
Site description The Vardanzi IBA is situated in the Shafirkan district of Bukhara province, 50 km northwest of the town of Bukhara and 7 km from the district center Shafirkan. The area is situated near the edge of SW part of the Kyzylkum desert and is surrounded on all sides by reclaimed land. It is effectively an “islet” of fixed sandy desert inside an oasis. Dense thickets of saxaul formed during the 20th century in the Vardanzi natural monument. The main vegetation consists of trees and shrubs including black saxaul, Rihter’s saltwort, Calligonum and tamarisk, camel's-thorn and Lycium are dominant plant species. Ephemeral species abound in the area. The climate is extremely continental. There is farmland and many of villages around the Vardanzi IBA.
Although only a few sites have been formally proposed under the A3 biome-restricted criteria (for biome CA04b Eurasian Desert and Semi-desert), many of the IBAs in the Kyzylkum Desert region support populations of biome-restricted species and, effectively, form a network of sites throughout the area.
Key Biodiversity The IBA is important for a wide variety of breeding, migrating and wintering birds. Between 1967 and 2000, 147 species were recorded. Passeriformes prevail (12.2%) followed by Falconiformes (9.5%). Migrating birds (44.9%) are most numerous, while wintering and breeding birds constitute 21.2% and 20.4%, respectively. Forty-four species breed. 42 species were recorded during IBA fieldwork from 14 to 20 May 2006. The globally endangered Coracias garrulus and the Zerafshan subspecies of pheasant Phasianus colchicus, a sub-species with an extremely restricted distribution and included in the National Red Data Book, both breed.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals include: Erinacens auritus, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Lepus tolau, Citellus fulvus, Allactaga elater, Mus musculus, Meriones libycus, Rhombomys opimus, Elobius talpinus, Canis aureus, Vulpes vulpes, Felis libica, Vormela peregusna, Mustela eversmanni.
Amphibians include only two species: Bufo viridis and Rana ridibunda. More than ten species of reptiles were recorded: Testudo horsfieldi, several species of Eremias, Phrynocephalus, geckos, Trapelus sanguinolentus, Psammophis lineolatum, Coluber sp and others. TFish found in the canal, collector channel and cooling pools include: Cyprinus carpio, Silurus glanis, Gambusia affinis, Alburnoides sp., Nemacheilus sp.