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Location Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan autonomous region
Central coordinates 58o 31.22' East  43o 28.97' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 46,467 ha
Altitude 50 - 156m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description The IBA is located in the Muinak district of the Kungrad region of the Autonomous Republic Karakalpakstan, 220 km from the town of Nukus. Sudochie consists of a large number of small and four large reservoirs (Akushpa, Karateren, Begdulla-Aydyn and Bolshoe Sudochie) and adjoining areas. Akuspa covers 11,600 ha. The southern and western shores of the lake have a poorly indented coastline; the northern and eastern shores are strongly indented and boggy. The lake is surrounded by reedbeds. Open water makes up about 60% of its general area. Karateren lake extends around the Urga cape of the Ustyurt plateau and covers an area of 475 ha. The shoreline adjoining the Ustyurt plateau is poorly indented, whereas the opposite shore, especially its northern part, is characterized by many indentations and a boggy shoreline. The lake is surrounded by continuous reedbeds and reed-mace. Begdulla-Aydyn lies in the central part of the wetland and covers an area of 1,850 ha. The Kungrad collector channel enters the lake on its western side while on its eastern side a kilometre long channel connects it with Lake Bolshoe Sudochie. There is scattered vegetation throughout the open water areas but there are dense thickets of reed-mace along the shore. Bolshoe Sudochie lake lies in the southeastern part of the wetland and covers 5,100 ha. The lake in general, especially its southern and eastern part, has a poorly indented shoreline, overgrown by a solid wall of reed. Reed is also dense along the northern shore but the open water area is largely devoid of surface vegetation. Other parts of the shoreline are dominated by reed-mace associations. The Sudochie wetland remains one of the most ecologically intact zones of the Amudariya river delta. It is a place of preservation and maintenance of the biodiversity of this region. The lake supports many breeding waterbird species plus many migrants, including rare and disappearing species, using the Western-Asian migratory route.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta passage  1999-2002  90-15,680 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser passage  1999-2002  15-6,200 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Mute Swan Cygnus olor passage  1987-2005  17-3,000 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos passage  1987-2002  200-29,000 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata passage  1999-2002  29-13,260 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina passage  1987-2005  2,000-39,000 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  1999-2005  1-204 adults only  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala passage  1999-2008  1-4,000 adults only  medium  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena passage  1999-2002  152-343 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus passage  1999-2002  10-1,160 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis passage  1999-2002  3-2,477 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus passage  1999-2002  54-917 adults only  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba passage  1999-2005  5-1,220 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus passage  1999-2005  2-6,500 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus passage  1999-2002  20-434 adults only  good  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus passage  1999-2005  4-2,800 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1999-2005  112-5,894 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug breeding  1999-2002  1-6 adults only  medium  A1  Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga passage  2000-2002  2-5 adults only  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Chlamydotis undulata breeding  2000-2002  1-2 adults only  poor  A3  Not Recognised 
Common Coot Fulica atra passage  1987-2003  8-30,900 adults only  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus passage  2000-2002  110-1,200 adults only  medium  A4i  Not Recognised 
Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii breeding  2000-2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Caspian Plover Charadrius asiaticus breeding  2000-2002  common  A3  Least Concern 
Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus passage  2000-2002  1-10 adults only  poor  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2000-2002  2-2,430 adults only  poor  A4i  Near Threatened 
Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris passage  2000-2001  1-4 adults only  poor  A1  Critically Endangered 
Ruff Calidris pugnax passage  2000-2002  4,200 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans passage  2000-2002  500-2,400 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius breeding  2000-2002  1 adults only  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  2000-2002  1-14 adults only  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Warbler Sylvia nana breeding  2000-2002  1-2 adults only  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus breeding  2000-2002  4 adults only  poor  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1999-2000  11,400-86,000 individuals  medium  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sudochye Wildlife Refuge 50,000 is identical to site 41,940  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   4%
Desert   -
Wetlands (inland)   92%
Rocky areas   4%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
forestry 10%
hunting 50%
fisheries/aquaculture 30%
nature conservation and research 20%
Notes: Sudochie natural sanctuary
water management 40%

Other biodiversity Mammals - 25 species of 6 orders: Insectivora - 2 species, Chiroptera - 4 species, Carnivora - 9 species, Artiodactyla - 3 species, Rodentia - 11 species, Lagomorpha - 1 species. The National Red Book (2003) includes 1 species (Gazella subgutturosa); the IUCN Red List 3 species (Felis caracal, Gazella subgutturosa and Saiga tatarica) and CITES appendices 4 species (Canis lupus, Felis libyca, Felis chaus and Felis caracal). Historical hunting records indicate the presence of Ondatra zubethicus around the reservoirs next to the Aral Sea in 1944. Amphibious represented by 2 species: Bufo viridis and Rana ridibunda. Reptiles – more than 15 species. Presence of Agrionemys horsfieldii, Natrix tessellata, Varanus griseus, 3 species of Eremias, 3 species of Phrynocephalus, and 2 species of racers (Coluber ravergieri and Coluber karelini), Teratoscincus bedriagai, Cyrtopodion caspius and Crossobamon eversmanni, Trapelus sanguinolentus is exactly established. Fish fauna of the wetlsnd is represented by 24 species and subspecies of fishes. Much of them concern to Cyprinidaes – 16 species. Coastal vegetation of Sudochie is represented by 71 species of higher plants. Coastal vegetation of Bolshoe Sudochie’s lake is the richest – 59 species. Vegetative cover in modern delta almost everywhere has traces of people’s activity.

Protection status Sudochie natural sanctuary.

References Lars Lachmann and Axel Braunlich (2002) Criteria for the identification of Important Bird Areas in Kazakhstan. Atadjanov A., Filatov A., Lanovenko Y., Safronov L., Zagrebin S., Kashkarov D., Khodjaev J., Goncharov G. Sammary of Existing Data on Past Waterfowl Surveys in Uzbekistan. Phase 2. Report of the project “Protection on Uzbekistan’s Wetlands and their Waterfowl”. Tashkent, 1999, 56p.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sudochye Lake. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

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