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Location Turkmenistan, Akhal
Central coordinates 57o 55.44' East  37o 56.33' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 13,003 ha
Altitude 650 - 2,482m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The Dushakerekdag Ridge is located in the Central Kopetdag mountains. The total area of the IBA is 13,003 hectares or almost 5% of the area of the Central Kopetdag (279,100 hectares). The highest points are Dushak - 2,482m, Heyrabad - 2,027m and Harlasang - 1,644m above sea level. There are springs in the vicinities of Heyrabad, Chaek and Beyikzovcheshme, but sometimes these dry up. Permanent watercourses are absent. The Dushakerekdag Ridge is a good representative example of the landscapes-biotopes of the most important habitats for birds in the Central Kopetdag.

Key Biodiversity The avifauna includes 158 species, 89 nesting. A large number are from biome CA06. However, the number of species recorded in recent years has noticeably decreased: Gyps fulvus (from 1991), Aegypius monachus (from 1992), Falco naumanni (from 1995), Falco cherrug and Gypaetus barbatus (from 1999), Accipiter nisus (from 1998), Milvus migrans (from 2000). These species are recorded regularly, but not breeding. Various habitats (desert, forest, stony-rocky etc.) support representatives of the fauna and populations of birds of the Central Kopetdag. Criterion А1 applies for Aegypius monachus, Falco cherrug and Falco naumanni, species which are listed in the IUCN Red List and regularly occur in the IBA. Aquila heliaca, Circaetus gallicus and Circus macrourus also occur but information is not currently available to justify their inclusion under this criterion. There is also a small number of Coracias garrulus. Nesting Buteo buteo, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila chrysaetos, Gypaetus barbatus, Falco peregrinus, Tetraogallus caspius and Bubo bubo are all listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999). Criterion А3 applies for species of the Irano-Turanian mountains (Biome CA06) which breed including: Ammoperdix griseogularis, Oenanthe finschii, Oenanthe xanthoprimna, Oenanthe picata, Phylloscopus neglectus, Sitta tephronota and Emberiza buchanani. There are also species from the Eurasian high mountains (Biome CA05): Tetraogallus caspius, Anthus spinoletta, Prunella collaris, Tichodroma muraria, Serinus pusillus, Rhodopechys sanguinea, Montifringilla nivalis, Mycerobas carnipes, and from the Sino-Himalayan Temperate forest (Biome CA07): Phoenicurus erythronota. Migrants include Circus macrourus, Aquila nipalensis, Aquila heliaca, Ammomanes deserti, Scotocerca inquieta, Rhodospiza obsoleta, Emberiza bruniceps and Sylvia nana.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals are represented by more than 40 species (Zykov, Korshunov, 1986; Mammals of Turkmenistan, 1995). The number of Sus scrofa nigripes, Capra aegagrus turcmenicus and Ovis vignei cycloceros has decreased. These are the basic prey of leopard which is also decreasing. The number of Ovis vignei cycloceros over the last 20 years has decreased 2-3 fold (Lukarevskiy et al, 2001; Efimenko, 1992, 2004). The following species are listed in the National Red Data Book (1999): Myotis nattereri, Miniopterus schreibersi, Myomimus personatus, Calomyscus bailwardi, Panthera pardus, Felis lynx, Felis manul, Capra aegagrus turcmenicus and Ovis vignei cycloceros. Amphibians and reptiles are represented by Rana ridibunda and Bufo viridis turanensis plus more than 18 species of reptile (Atayev, 1985). The flora of Dushakerekdag is represented by 917 species (441 genus and 88 families). A characteristic of the IBA is a high percentage of endemic species (143 species, 16.4%). Red Data Book of Turkmenistan plants (1999) include: Juniperus turcomanica, Prionotrichon gaudanense, Tulipa micheliana, Tulipa wilsoniana, Hyacinthus transcaspicus and Allium vavilovii. The richness of the flora and high number of endemics means that the Dushakerekdag can be considered as a natural model of the Central Kopetdag.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis resident  1983-2005  60-70 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug winter  1983-2005  1 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus breeding  1983-2005  1-3 breeding pairs  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Eastern Rock-nuthatch Sitta tephronota resident  1983-2005  48-50 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1983-2005  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  1983-2005  26-30 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata breeding  1983-2005  20-25 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Oenanthe xanthoprymna breeding  1983-2005  1-2 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Not Recognised 
White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes resident  1983-2005  30-40 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani breeding  1983-2005  1-2 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 very high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   32%
Shrubland   6%
Desert   17%
Wetlands (inland)   1%
Rocky areas   28%
Artificial - terrestrial   16%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 35%
forestry 27%
military 3%
Notes: border zone
tourism/recreation 15%
urban/industrial/transport 7%
not utilised 13%

Protection status Not protected.

References Ataev C.A. (1985) Reptiles of mountains of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat: Ylym. 344. (in Russian). Efimenko N.N. (1992) To biology of nesting of birds of prey of the Central Kopetdag. Ornithological researches in reserves: Problems of reservation matter: Collected articles. Мoscow.: 89-113. (in Russian). Efimenko N.N. (2004) Monitoring of ecosystem elements of Kopetdag state reserve (Turkmenistan). 24. - Reserves and national parks ». М.: Biodiversity conservation Center. 42. (in Russian). Zykov A.E., Korshunov V.M. (1986) Annotated the list of mammals of the Central Kopetdag. 162-183. - The nature of the Central Kopetdag. Ashgabat: Ylym. (in Russian). Kamahina G.L. (2005) Flora and vegetation of the Central Kopetdag (the present, the past and the future). Ashgabat. 238. (in Russian). Lukarevskiy V.S., Efimenko N.N., Gorelov Yu.K., H.I.Hodzhamuradov (2001) Modern condition of a population of urial in Turkmenistan. Problems of desert development. 4: 40-45. (in Russian). H.I. Atamuradov. Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. - Т.1. - Ashkhabad: Turkmenistan, 1999. (in Russian). M. Rajapov. Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English). M. Rajapov. Turkmenistan. Country Study on the Status of Biodiversity. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Turkmen, Russian, English).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Dushakerekdag. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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