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Location Uzbekistan, Jizzakh,Samarkand
Central coordinates 66o 46.50' East  40o 30.73' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4ii
Area 34,681 ha
Altitude 500 - 2,169m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description The IBA is situated on the Nuratau ridge 70 km NW of the town of Jizzak on the border of three districts. The landscape of foothills are of the semi-desert type and represented by sloping submontane plains, hills and ridges with wormwood and ephemeral vegetation growing on typical and dark sierozems (gypsum-derived soils). The landscape of low mountains occupies the low-mountain part of the ridge and belongs to the dry steppe type of landscape. In the foothills and low mountains there are settlements and bogharic lands (loess and loess-like loams). The mid-mountain areas lie in the upper alpine layer of the Nuratau and represent the meadow-steppe type of landscape. The rocky areas are represented by outcrops of limestone, granite and slate almost devoid of vegetation. The rock massifs are typical low- and mid-mountains. In the valleys of the mountain rivers, there are river flood-lands with tree-shrub vegetation. The Nuratau Ridge has a dense hydrographic network comprised of rivulets. The largest streams of the main northern slope of Nuratau are Sentyabsai, Madjerumsai and Ukhumsai. The basis of the economic activity of local residents is agriculture, mainly cattle husbandry. Individual plots for horticulture are developing in and around the settlements.

Key Biodiversity The avifauna is comprised of 196 species of 15 orders and 32 families. Of these, 132 species are nesting, 31 are resident. The main groups are Falconiformes and Passeriformes. The globally endangered Aegypius monachus and Falco cherrug nest in the IBA. Eight breeding species (Ciconia nigra, Circaetus gallicus, Hieraaetus pennatus, Aquila chrysaetos, Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus and Falco cherrug) are included in the national Red Data Book. The IBA is unique in Uzbekistan for its concentration of nesting large birds of prey. More than two pairs of Gypaetus barbatus, 20 pairs of Gyps fulvus, 8 pairs of Aquila chrysaetos (Chernogaev et al.,1996) breed. The site is a zone of biome Irano-Turanin Mountains (4 species).

Non-bird biodiversity: The IBA is comprised of typical little-transformed landscapes and ecosystems of the Nuratau ridge. More than 800 species of higher plants grow there, including 29 species included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan, as well as 22 endemic species and two subspecies of plants, including Anura pallidivirens, a representative of the endemic monotype genus Anura Tschern, as well as Paraeremostachys anisochila, an endemic confined to only one locality, which is within the Nuratau nature reserve. The vertebrate fauna includes 1 fish species, 2 amphibian species, 15 reptile species and 34 mammalian species. One reptile species is included in the National Red Book. Four species of mammal are included of which 1 species, Tien Shan Argali (Ovis ammon severtzovii), is also included on the IUCN Red List. Currently, more than 90% of the world population of this rare endemic species inhabits this area. In the reserve, 786 species of invertebrate are recorded, including 761 species of insects. Eleven arthropod species are included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug breeding  2004  2 adults only  poor  A1  Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus breeding  2006  90 individuals  good  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  2003-2004  5-10 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Endangered 
Eastern Rock-nuthatch Sitta tephronota resident  2006  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  2006  common  A3  Least Concern 
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata breeding  2006  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Bunting Emberiza stewarti breeding  2006  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 high not assessed low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Koshrabad Wildlife Refuge 16,500 protected area overlaps with site 7,907  
Nuratinskiy State Nature Reserve 35,504 protected area contained by site 17,500  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   3%
Shrubland   22%
Grassland   45%
Wetlands (inland)   3%
Rocky areas   22%
Artificial - terrestrial   5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 30%
Notes: the buffer zone is used for cattle grazing
forestry 10%
nature conservation and research 100%
Notes: The lands of the current Nuratau nature reserve are withdrawn from industrial activities.

Protection status Nature reserve "Nuratinskiy".

References The plan of management of Nuratau-Kyzylkum biosphere reserve. Vol. 2, “Ecological and social-economic conditions”, 2006 (In Russian). Daminova D.B. The insect fauna of Nuratau nature reserve. The 2000 annual report. The archive of Nuratau nature reserve. Yangikishlak, 2000 (in Russian).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nuratau Range. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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