email a friend
printable version
Location Turkmenistan, Balkan
Central coordinates 53o 45.53' East  39o 50.30' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 54,858 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (Country programme)

Site description This site covers the east coast of Turkmen Bay and extends over 90-100 km, connecting Egriji – Garatau – Uzynada - Ajyada Bays. The coast line is indented, with many small unnamed bays. The site as a whole is low lying (the shore line at the entrance to Garatau Bay is -28m). The coastal region is basically sandy and up to 100-150m in width and consists of ridge-hilly sands, in some places large semi-fixed or barchan sands, and depressions with patches of saltmarsh. Inland from the sea are several strips of vegetation, differing with substrate: wet saltmarshs which flood with the tide; saltmarshes which are not flooded by the tide; salted shelly sands; semi-salted and shelly sands; semi-fixed ridge-hilly dunes; fixed dunes. Changes in microrelief as a result of sea level fluctuations are affecting the dynamics of the substrata and vegetative cover in each area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1974-2003  250-11,880 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1976-2003  1,100-24,200 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1998-2003  490 individuals  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1980-2003  2,335-35,500 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1980  min 20,000 individuals  medium  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   5%
Desert   10%
Wetlands (inland)   75%
Sea   10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 95%
Notes: border zone
urban/industrial/transport 1%
unknown 4%

Other biodiversity The fauna includes 40 species of mammals, half from which are rodents (21 species), the others are predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4), ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species, the most significant are water (Natrix natrix) and grass (Natrix tessellata) snakes and the Central Asian agama (Agama sanguinolenta). The flora contains more than 370 species of higher plants. The vegetation of the coast is represented by halophytic and salsolas communities. Sandy sites are fixed by vegetation but it is sparse: ephedra, a few species of Calligonum, Salsola richteri, and saxaul (Haloxylon persicum) which is very rare. Carex physodes covers some areas with sparse ephemerals.

Protection status Not protected.

References Rustamov A.K., Vasilev V.I. (1976) Natural reserves of USSR (Soviet national ornithological Reserve Krasnovodskiy). – Мoscow. Znanie. (in Russian). Atamuradov, H.I. (1999)Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. - Т.1. - Ashkhabad: Turkmenistan. (in Russian). Rajapov, M. Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English). Rajapov, M. Turkmenistan. Country Study on the Status of Biodiversity.Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Turkmen Bay. Downloaded from on 02/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife