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Location Uzbekistan, Navoi
Central coordinates 63o 34.20' East  42o 38.92' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 8,927 ha
Altitude 350 - 658m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description The Bukantau mountain ridge is part of the northern mountain ridge system in the Central Kyzylkum. The highest point is 765 m above sea level, but average altitudes are between 350-500 m. The nearest town is Uchkuduk, situated 50 km to the south. Other large settlements are Kulkuduk and Juskuduk, situated to the south and east of Bukantau respectively. The proposed IBA is the northern side of the mountain. Here there are many steep stony ravines over a length of 3-8 km. These have rare seasonal springs with fresh or brackish water. A large number of nesting raptors is observed here. 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 More than 260 species have been recorded at Bukantau. The high number of nesting raptors observed is because of the presence of cliffs and rich foraging (numerous rodents - Spermophilus fulvus, Rhombomys opimus and others). Raptors include Aegypius monachus, Aquila chrysaetos (2-3 pairs), Neophron реrсnорterus, Buteo rufinus, Falco cherrug (4 pairs), Bubo bubo (2-3 pairs), Circaetus gallicus (1-2 pairs) and Falco naumanni. Non-breeding juvenile Gyps fulvus and single Gypaetus barbatus are present at the site. Alectoris chukar, wheatears (including Oenanthe picata – a species on the edge of its distribution), Bucanetes githagineus, Emberiza buchanani and Athene noctua are numerous. Bukantau Mountain is situated in sandy desert and therefore attracts a great number of migrating species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Argali (Ovis ammon severtzovi) were extirpated in the middle of the XX century. Intensive hunting for wild donkeys is conducted here. Gazella subgutturosa is observed regularly especially in winter. The proposed IBA has an isolated and one of the most northern populations of Hemiechinus hypomelas. The small mammal fauna is typical of the desert region. The threatened reptiles - Agrionemys horsfiekdi and Varanus griseus - are common.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2006  10-50 adults only  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  1988-2006  4-20 adults only  good  A1  Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus resident  1988-2006  1-30 individuals  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus breeding  1988-2006  present  A1  Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

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

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert   60%
Rocky areas   40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 100%

References IBA field survey report, 2006.

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

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