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Location Tajikistan
Central coordinates 68o 47.05' East  38o 48.86' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 1,077 ha
Altitude 1,100 - 2,850m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Site description The gorge of the Kondara river is situated in the south spurs of the Gissar range 36 km to the north of Dushanbe. This river is a right bank tributary of the Varzob river and flows in at an altitude of 1,100m above sea level. Its length is 12-15 km, medium width is 2 km and it is oriented west to east. The slopes of the gorge vary between gentle with a fine, loose surface to very steep and rocky. In the upper course the gorge is blocked by the thick steep cliff of the watershed of the Luchob and Varzob rivers, which is known as Ruidasht. This is a slightly sloping plateau 10-12 km long and 6-7 km wide covered with a thick layer of fine surface material. The eastern edge of the plateau facing the Kondara gorge is very steep and rocky. The height of the Ruidasht plateau varies from 2,400 to 2,850 m. The IBA includes all of the gorge from the mouth (Varzob river banks) to the eastern slope of the Ruidasht, the eastern part of the plateau, and Kvak and Tereakba tracts. The main part of the IBA is situated in a wood-shrubby vegetation zone, which extends from 1,000-1,200 to 2,500 m above sea level on its southern slopes. In this zone of the Gissar range the highest amount of atmospheric precipitation falls – more than 1,000 mm a year.

Key Biodiversity The list of the birds of the Kondara gorge includes 146 species from 11 orders and 44 families. Among them 34 species are residents, 87 breeding, 28 migrants and 20 wintering. Typical residents: Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus, Aquila chrysaetos, Tetraogallus himalayensis, Alectoris chukar, Streptopelia senegalensis, Dendrocopus leucopterus, Cinclus pallasii, Chaimarrornis leucocephala, Rhyacornis fuliginosus, Turdus merula, Turdus viscivorus, Myophonus caeruleus, Enicurus scouleri, Garrulax lineatus, Parus bokharensis, Sitta tephronota, Tichodroma muraria, Pica pica, Corvus corone, Corvus corax, Acridoteres tristis, Passer montanus, Carduelis caniceps, Coccothraustes coccothraustes and Mycerobas carnipes. Typical breeding species: Milvus migrans (decreasing), Hieraaetus pennatus, Falco tinnunculus, Falco subbuteo, Falco cherrug, Streptopelia turtur, Streptopelia orientalis, Cuculus canorus, Otus scops, Merops apiaster, Upupa epops, Caprimulgus europaeus, Coracias garrulus, Calandrella acutirostris, Alauda arvensis, Riparia rupestris, Hirundo daurica, Luscinia pectoralis, Cettia cettia, Hippolais rama, Sylvia hortensis, Phylloscopus griseolus, Leptopoecile sophiae, Tersiphone paradisi, Parus flavipectus, Certhia himalayana, Remiz coronatus, Oriolus oriolus, Lanius phoenicuroides, Lanius schach, Lanius minor, Sturus roseus and others. Typical wintering species: Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter gentilis, Accipiter nisus, Bubo bubo, Falco columbarius, Charadrius dubius, Scolopax rusticola, Regulus regulus, Sturnus vulgaris, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Carduelis spinus, Loxia curvirostra and Carpodacus erythrinus. There is a spring and autumn migration of Falconiformes, Galliformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, Coraciiformes and Passeriformes. The following species are listed in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan - Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps himalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug, Columba palumbus, Chaimarrornis leucocephala, Myophonus caeruleus, Enicurus scouleri, Leptopoecile sophiae, Tersiphone paradisi and Garrulax lineatus. Seasonal changes in the avifaunal composition, which is characteristic and inherent in mountain areas, is clearly exhibited.

Non-bird biodiversity: 1,800 species of animal (including invertebrates) have been recorded in the IBA. Fish: Glyptosternum reticulatum and Schizothorax intermedius. Amphibia: Bufo viridis. Reptiles: Ablepharus brandtii, Agama lehmanni, Eumeces schneideri, Eryx tataricus, Coluber rhodorhachis, Coluber ravergieri, Elaphe dione, Typhlops vermicularis, Vipera lebetina; in higher areas Ancistrodon halys and Natrix tessellata. Mammals: Ellobius talpinus, Mus musculus, Apodemus sylvaticus, Rattus turkestanicus, Histryx leucura, Dyromys nitedula, Ochotona rutila, Marmota caudata, Cricetulus migratorius, Microtus carruthersi, Crocidura suaveolens, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Eptesicus serotinus. Carnivora: Vulpes vulpes, Canis lupus, Felis ocreala, Ursus arctos, Lutra lutra, Mustela ermine, Meles meles. Ungulates: Sus scrofa and Capra sibirica. Vegetation: the main part of the IBA consists of a woody-shrubby belt. The lower part of this belt is at 1,600 m above sea level and typical species are Acer turkestanicum, Prunus divaricata, Crataegus turkestanica, Rhamnus dolychophylla, Malus hissarica, Celtis caucasica and Juniperus seravschanica. Juglans regia only occurs in river valleys. In the IBA (7-8,000 hectares) and between 1,100-2,850 m above sea level botanists have recorded 756 species of pteridophyte and spermatophyte from the following families: Compositae – 102 species (13.64% of the total), Gramineae – 83 species (11%), Leguminosae – 61 species (8%), Liliaceae – 40 species (5.3%), Caryophyllaceae – 40 species (5.3%), Umbelliferae – 38 species (5%), Labiatae – 38 species (5%), Rosaceae – 37 species (4.9%), Cruciferae – 35 species (4.6%), Ranunculaceae – 29 species (3.84%), Scrophulariaceae – 23 species (3.04%), Boraginaceae – 21 species (2.8%), Cyperaceae – 19 species (2.5%), Poligonaceae – 10 species (1.3%), Rubiaceae – 16 species (2.1%) and others.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Himalayan Snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis resident  2000-2006  1-2 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  2000-2006  2-3 individuals  poor  A1  Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus passage  2000-2006  10-15 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  2000-2006  15-20 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Hume's Lark Calandrella acutirostris breeding  2000-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus breeding  2000-2006  3-4 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  2000-2006  2-3 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis breeding  2000-2006  2-3 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus breeding  2000-2006  3-4 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis resident  2000-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris breeding  2000-2006  5-8 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-streaked Accentor Prunella himalayana breeding  2000-2006  4-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens breeding  2000-2006  5-10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta breeding  2000-2006  8-10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Fire-fronted Serin Serinus pusillus breeding  2000-2006  5-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Mountain-finch Leucosticte nemoricola resident  2000-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Rhodopechys sanguineus resident  2000-2006  20-25 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Not Recognised 
Red-mantled Rosefinch Carpodacus rhodochlamys resident  2000-2006  18-20 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Great Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla resident  2000-2006  15-20 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Grosbeak Mycerobas carnipes resident  2000-2006  20-30 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 medium not assessed high
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%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   90%
Shrubland   -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Rocky areas   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Introduced vegetation   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 90%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kondara Gorge. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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