|Location||Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan autonomous region|
|Central coordinates||59o 49.05' East 43o 29.85' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2006|
Site description The lake is situated in a former gulf of the Aral Sea at the mouth of the Kazakhdar’ya river. The water is brackish. In addition to river water, the site is also fed by thermal springs. A large dam which will separate the lake from the former sea is under construction. The water level in the lake has substantially stabilized. The lake is rather shallow, consisting of hundreds of open water area of different size and extensive reedbeds. On the shore there are large thickets of tamarisk. Soils are saline and sandy. A state forestry and hunting farm is located on the site and fishing and hunting are actively carried out. The lake is rather remote, the nearest settlement, Kazakhdar’ya, is situated 30 km away. However, during floods, it is necessary to travel 80-90 km to reach the site.
Key Biodiversity This is a large system of reservoirs with a rich fauna of waterbirds. All of the main species of reedbeds and shallow lakes breed: Phalacrocoraх carbo, Phalacrocoraх pygmaeus, Ardeidae, Platalea leucorodia, Plegadis falcinellus, Fulica atra, Anatidae. The rich fauna of wetland Passeriformes includes Remiz macronyx, Panurus biarmicus, Acrocephalus sp., and Locustella luscinioides. Of waders only Himantopus himantopus, Vanellus leucura and Charadrius alexandrinus nest, but on migration about 40 species of waders have been recorded. Predatory birds include Circus aeruginosus (numerous) and many Haliaeetus albicilla occur on migration and in winter. Zholdurbas lake is an unique place in Uzbekistan where Botaurus stellaris regularly nests.
Non-bird biodiversity: There are numerous commercially-traded mammals: Sus scrofa, Canis aureus, Felis libyca and Ondatra zibethicus. In the large thickets of tamarisk are numerous Lepus capensis tolai and Vulpes vulpes. Gazella subgutturosa is common, with breeding females with young noted. Being part of the former bed of the Aral Sea, the terrestrial fauna is rather poor.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greylag Goose Anser anser||passage||2000-2005||500-10,000 adults only||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||breeding||2000-2006||26-64 adults only||medium||A1||Near Threatened|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||passage||2000-2005||10-100 adults only||medium||A1, A4i||Endangered|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||breeding||2005-2008||88-999 adults only||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||breeding||2005||80-300 adults only||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus||breeding||2005-2006||94-3,000 adults only||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo||breeding||2005-2006||200-2,000 adults only||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Little Tern Sternula albifrons||breeding||2008||324 adults only||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||passage||2000-2005||50,000 individuals||poor||A4iii|
|2006||very high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Protection status Government forestry and hunting concession.
References Materials of field researches in August 2005 and June 2006. IBA project Field researches and processing of humeral bones, collected on Zholdirbas during autumn hunting in 2003-2004.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Zholdyrbas Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014
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