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Location Uzbekistan, Bukhoro
Central coordinates 64o 6.68' East  39o 7.52' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 49,658 ha
Altitude 183 - 267m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description Dengizkul lake is situated 75 km south-south west from Buhara town near the border with Turkmenistan. It is surrounded by mainly sandy desert with large sand dunes and bushes of saxaul and acacia – the northern part of the Sundukli sands. Hilly sands are most typical for the boundary region with Turkmenistan. The lake is situated in a natural low-lying landscape. The water is strongly salty and supplied by a collector-drainage channel. In former times it was the final reservoir of the Zarafshan river. The IBA consists of the open water area and coastal strip 500 metres wide.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  2000-2005  187-10,670 adults only  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  2000-2005  4-120 adults only  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  2000-2005  18-4,550 adults only  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  2000-2005  250-29,100 adults only  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  2000-2005  8-245 adults only  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
Smew Mergellus albellus winter  2000-2005  18-350 adults only  good  A4i  Least Concern 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  2000-2005  185-5,135 adults only  good  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  2000-2005  1-35 adults only  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  2000-2005  1,820-208,036 adults only  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius breeding  2001  2 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis resident  2001  1 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Great Tit Parus major resident  2001  6 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta breeding  2001  1 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  1997-1998  5 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Warbler Sylvia nana breeding  2001  1 adults only  medium  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2000-2005  19,277-286,634 individuals  medium  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dengizkulskiy Wildlife Refuge 50,000 protected area contains site 49,658  
Lake Dengizkul Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 31,300 protected area contained by site 31,300  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   6%
Desert   9%
Wetlands (inland)   77%
Artificial - terrestrial   8%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 15%
military 70%
nature conservation and research 100%
other 15%

Other biodiversity Mammals include badger and jackal and there are colonies of gerbils and jerboas. Reptiles include Teratoscincus scincus, Varanus griseus (IUCN Red List species) and Phrynocephalus interscapularis. Amphibians include Bufo viridis. There are many different spiders here including karakurt and phalanx. Fish include Stizostedion lucioperca and Cyprinus carpio. There are numerous small sandhoppers which provide plentiful food for fish and birds. Vegetative associations consist of coastal thickets of reed and reed mace. On the shore there are several associations of desert vegetation and a poorly developed tugai association.

Protection status Dengizkul Ornithological Reserve was created by a Decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR №530 in 1973. Validity of this was prolonged by a decision of the Buhara Regional Executive Committee №157/11 from 26.06.90. In October 2001 Dengizkul lake was included in the list of wetlands of international importance (Ramsar site No.1108).

References Atadjanov, A., Filatov, A., Lanovenko, Y., Zagrebin, S., Chernogaev, E., Khodjaev, J. Aerial Survey of Wetlands in Uzbekistan (winter 2000). Report of the project RSGF "Protection of Uzbekistan's Wetlands and their Waterfowl". Part 3. Tashkent, June 2001. IWC National data base (2003-2005) Wetland International IWC Data Base (2003-2004) Busuttil S. An ornithological survey of globally threatened birds. INTERIM REPORT. UZBEKISTAN REPORT. January and April 2000 // OSME, Sandgrouse (engl).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dengizkul Lake. Downloaded from on 31/10/2014

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