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Location Turkmenistan, Lebap
Central coordinates 62o 46.18' East  39o 42.48' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 76,286 ha
Altitude 156 - 266m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (BirdLife Direct Action Programme)

Site description The IBA is located on the right bank of the Amudarya river and includes the adjoining desert (to the south) and lakes of the Farab collector.

Key Biodiversity The avifauna of the Nargyz IBA includes 247 species (45.9% of the avifauna of Central Asia), of these 105 species breed. The IBA is situated on a major migratory flyway. Passerines are most numerous (102 species), birds of prey (28), Anatidae (23), waders (21). In total 81 species of waterbird have been recorded. Resident, passage or wintering species listed on the IUCN Red List and the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan are: Pelecanus onocrotalus and Pelecanus crispus, Platelea leucorodia, Ciconia nigra, Marmaronetta angustirostris, Aythya nyroca, Pandion haliaetus, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Aquila heliaca, Aquila chrysaetos, Aegypius monachus, Circaetus gallicus, Circus macrourus, Falco naumanni, Falco cherrug, Falco peregrinus, Porphyrio porphyrio, Grus virgo, Tetrax tetrax, Chlamydotis undulata, Otis tarda, Burhinus oedicnemus, Bubo bubo, Coracias garrulus and Anser cygnoides. The number of Haliaeetus leucoryphus recorded is below the threshold for criterion A1 and many of the other globally threatened species have either not been recorded in recent years or are very rare. For criterion A3 species, there is not enough data to estimate their numbers on the IBA. Criterion A4i applies for several species, and the site is also important for the migration of waterfowl and water birds, birds of prey and passerines.

Non-bird biodiversity: The majority of the IBA consists of plain-desert ecosystems, with some smaller wetland ecosystems. In the IBA 227 species of higher vascular plants have been recorded. The flora of the tugai is relatively poor, with 86 species of plants of which 15 species are dominant - Populus pruinosa and P. euphratica, Elaeagnus turcomanica, Salix songarica, Tamarix, Halimodendron halodendron, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Phragmites australis, Erianthus ravennae, Trachomitum scabrum, and Aeluropus littoralis. There are specific varieties of Poaceae, Asteraceae and Tamarix. The tugai forests at Michurinskiy, Kenderli and Boyanly are 40-60 years old. 80 species of spider have been recorded. Among insects bugs and butterflies are the most studied. 43 species of fish inhabit the waters of the Amudarya river, channels and collectors, including species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999). Amphibians – 2 species. Reptiles - 29 species, basically living in the desert areas. Mammals - 42 species, of which insectivores - 4 species, chiropterans - 5 species, lagomorphs - 1 species, rodents - 17 species, predators -12 species and ungulates - 3 species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swan Goose Anser cygnoid passage  2005  6 individuals  poor  A1  Vulnerable 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus passage  2004-2005  200-700 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus passage  2004-2005  2-60 individuals  medium  A1  Vulnerable 
Pallid Scops-owl Otus brucei breeding  2004-2005  13-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2004-2005  10-30 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Least Concern 
White-winged Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucopterus resident  2004-2005  12 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis resident  2004-2005  1-2 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Parus bokharensis resident  2004-2005  20-30 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Not Recognised 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  2004-2005  10-20 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  2004-2005  30-40 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Warbler Sylvia nana breeding  2004-2005  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  2004-2005  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid 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

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Amu-Darya State Nature Reserve 49,484 protected area overlaps with site 49,484  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   11%
Desert   82%
Wetlands (inland)   6%
Artificial - terrestrial   1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 34%
nature conservation and research 66%

Protection status The Amudarya state reserve (established in 1982 covering 49,514 ha) consists of three areas in the middle course of the Amudarya River in which the valley flood plain tugai, ridge-hillocks and barchan sands, and salt pans of the Turan lowland are well represented. The territory of the reserve includes part of the Amudarya River.

References Bukreev S.A. (1997) Ornithogeography and reservation matters of Turkmenistan. Мoscow: 157 p. (in Russian). Marochkina V.V. (1993) Materials on chiropterans of East Turkmenistan // Proceedings of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences. Biology Sciences, №3. (in Russian). Bukreev, S.A. Marochkina, V.V. (1999) Nested fauna of birds of Amudarya reserve. - Territorial aspects of protection of birds in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Moscow, 1999., with. 49-59. (in Russian). Rajapov M. Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Turkmenistan. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Russian, Turkmen, English). Rajapov M. Turkmenistan. Country Study on the Status of Biodiversity. Ashgabat, 2002. (in Russian, Turkmen, English).

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

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