|Central coordinates||53o 54.27' East 37o 30.23' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Site description The site is a low lying stretch of coast, 1-2 km wide, ranging in altitude from -10m at the frontier post at Gamyshly to 26m and consisting of a sandy strip 50 to 100m wide with ridge-hilly fixed sands inland alternating with areas 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. The IBA situated in a zone of dry subtropics with hot dry summers and warm winters. The overall average annual temperature is +17.1C, with a maximum of +48C and a minimum of -16С. The average temperature in January is +4.30С. The annual rainfall is approximately 200 mm, the majority falling from November to April. Cloudy days are frequent (up to 74 days per year), the number of days with precipitation is about 30-60. The maximum number of days without frost is 296.
Key Biodiversity The avifauna includes not less than 280 species, of which 240 (86%) are passage-wintering birds, including 120 (43%) which are waterbirds, representing 46 and 23% respectively of the avifauna of Central Asia. Passeriformes are the most numerous (96 species), Haematopodidae (45), Anseriformes (28), Falconiformes (27) and Laridae (16). Most typical on migration are coots and ducks (Netta rufina, Aythya ferina, Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya fuligula, Aythya marila, Anas penelope, etc.), plus waders, gulls and terns. There is a major distinct north-south waterbird migration through the IBA. In the autumn 70.9% of all migrants recorded pass in a southerly direction. In February-March an average of 1,500 to 2,800 birds are recorded daily. In both spring and autumn the most numerous species are waders (67.5% and 38% respectively), gulls (16.9% and 7.7%), ducks (6.7% and 21.4%) and terns (4.9% and 23.3%) (Karavaev, 1988). The following species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999) have been recorded at the site: Platalea leucorodia, Phoenicopterus roseus, Grus virgo, Buteo buteo, Pandion haliaetus, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Falco peregrinus, Circaetus gallicus, Burhinus oedicnemus, and also the non-migratory - Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug and Bubo bubo. There are also records of the globally threatened Vanellus gregarius and Aquila heliaca. The site qualifies under criterion A4iii for the large number of waterbirds (15-20 species) that winter. The following A1 criteria species also occur but curent data is not available to justify designation of the site under this criterion: Oxyura leucocephala, Anser erythropus, Marmaronetta angustirostris and Aythya nyroca.
Non-bird 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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris||winter||2001-2005||52 individuals||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca||winter||2001-2005||8-5,997 individuals||good||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula||winter||2001-2005||397-19,152 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||unknown||2001||1 individuals||-||A1||Endangered|
|Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis||winter||2001-2005||53-1,094 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena||winter||2001-2005||10-1,635 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus||winter||2001-2005||7-1,451 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis||winter||2001||61-747 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus||winter||2001-2005||434-9,341 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo||winter||2001-2005||37-1,003 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Coot Fulica atra||winter||2001-2005||2,666-22,591 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||2001||min 20,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|2005||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|
|Climate change and severe weather||storms and floods||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Hazar||State Nature Reserve||1,310,185||protected area contains site||18,724|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: border zone|
Protection status Not protected.
References 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).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ekerem - Esenguly. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/10/2015
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