email a friend
printable version
Location Tajikistan
Central coordinates 70o 24.27' East  40o 52.64' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 26,767 ha
Altitude 532 - 1,624m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description Mogoltau is a low mountain range 40 km long and 15-25 km wide, covering an area of approximately 350 square km, with the highest points reaching 1,600-1,620 m above sea level. The central and main high part of the massif is the Muzbek peak 1,624 m above sea level. The Mogoltau massif is a vast plain of rubble, pebble, gravel, boulders and loess-like loam cut by dry riverbeds formed by streams of spring (April) rains. The area has been exposed to man's impact for a long time and there are many settlements: Hujand, Uchbog, Chengalyk, Kichikayra, Katorbulok, Choruhdaron, Mirzorabat, Holbabulon and others. In general the Mogultau massif is a unique mountain range, bounded by cultivated lands, roads, settlements and towns. As an isolated 'island' it has preserved a unique avifauna which is different from the nearby Turkestanskiy and Kuraminskiy ranges and this forms the basis for the creation of the IBA.

Key Biodiversity The avifauna of the Mogoltau massif is very special. Residents - 23 species which form 22.1% of the total number of birds species of the IBA. These include: Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus, Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug, Alectoris chukar, Columba livia, Streptopelia senegalensis, Dendrocopos leucopterus, Galerida cristata, Turdus merula, Parus bokharensis, Sitta tephronota, Tichodroma muraria, Pica pica, Corvus corone, Corvus corax, Acridotheres tristis, Passer montanus, Petronia petronia and Carduelis caniceps. Nesting species - 59 species (50.05% of the total avifauna). These include: Neophron percnopterus, Falco tinnunculus, Falco pelegrinoides, Falco peregrinus, Coturnix coturnix, Chlamydotis undulata, Burhinus oedicnemus, Glareola pratincola, Pterocles orientalis, Columba eversmanni, Streptopelia turtur, Streptopelia orientalis, Otus scops, Otus brucei, Athena noctua, Asio otus, Caprimulgus europaeus, Apus apus, Apus melba, Merops apiaster, Coracias garrulus, Upupa epops, Melanocorypha calandra, Melanocorypha bimaculata, Alauda arvensis, Riparia rupestris, Hirundo rustica, Delichon urbica, Anthus campestris, Anthus pratensis, Anthus spinoletta, Motacilla cinerea, Motacilla alba, Luscinia megarhynchos, Phoenicurus ochruros, Saxicola torquata, Saxicola caprata, Oenanthe isabellina, Oenanthe oenanthe, Oenanthe pleschanka, Oenanthe picata, Oenanthe finschii, Monticola saxatilis, Monticola solitarius, Acrocephalus dumetorum, Phylloscopus griseolus, Oriolus oriolus, Lanius phoenicuroides, Lanius schach, Lanius minor, Sturnus vulgaris, Sturnus roseus, Passer domesticus,Passer hispaniolensis, Serinus pusillus, Rhodopechys sanguinea, Emberiza stewarti and Emberiza bruniceps. In winter some Sturnus vulgaris also make movements from northern or mountain areas to Mogoltau. Wintering birds - 16 species (10.5% of the total avifauna). These include: Gyps himalayensis, Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter gentilis, Accipiter nisus, Tetrax tetrax, Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Turdus atrogularis, Corvus monedula, Corvus frugilegus, Corvus cornix, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Carduelis spinus, Caprodacus erythrinus and Caprodacus rhodochlamys. Falco cherrug sometimes visits from the Syrdarya river valley. Migrants - 13 species (10.2% of the total). These include: Milvus migrans, Circus macrourus, Circus pygargus, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Grus grus, Otis tarda, Himantopus himantopus, Charadrius dubius, Charadrius leschenaultii, Gallinago solitaria, Tringa hypoleucos and Luscinia svecica. Circus cyaneus is a vagrant. Globally threatened species occurring are: Aegypius monachus, Circus macrourus, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Falco vespertinus, Falco cherrug, Tetrax tetrax, Columba eversmanni and Coracias garrulus. Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, Gyps hymalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Otis tarda, Chlamydotis undulata and Burhinus oedicnemus are included in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan.

Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: Schizothorax intermedius can be found occasionally in large springs. Amphibia are represented by one species - Bufo viridis. Reptiles: Testudo horsfieldi, Teratoscincus scincus, Gymnodactylus russowi, Agama sanguinolenta, Agama lehmanni, Varanus griseus, Ophisaurus apodus, several species of Eremias, Ablephаrus brandti, Ablephаrus deserti and others. Snakes include Eryx tataricus, Coluber rhodorhachis, Coluber ravergieri, Taphrometopon lineolatum and Vipera lebetina. Vipera ursini has disappeared. Mammals include Sus scrofa, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Hyaena hyaena, Mustela nivalis, Hystrix leucura, Rattus turkestanicus and Ellobius tancrei. Insectivores and Chiropterans also occur. The Mogoltau mountains are poor in arboreal-bushy vegetation. There are only scattered bushes of Juniperus zeravschanica, Celtis caucasica, Crataegus turkestanica, Atraphaxis pyrifolia, Cotoneaster insignis, Cotoneaster nummularius, Rosa maracandica, Cerasus verrucosa, Cerasus erythrocarpa and Lonicera nummularifolia. Of herbaceous vegetation Poa bulbosa, Carex pachystylis and Taeniatherum crinitum dominate in the ephemeral-wormwood desert zone.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  2000-2006  2-4 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus resident  2000-2006  6-8 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2000-2006  120-150 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  2000-2006  10-12 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus neglectus breeding  2000-2006  5-8 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  2000-2006  2-4 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii resident  2000-2006  8-10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata breeding  2000-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Bunting Emberiza stewarti breeding  2000-2006  20-25 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani breeding  2000-2006  15-20 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 very high not assessed negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Not assessed  No management planning has taken place  Not assessed  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   3%
Grassland   27%
Desert   17%
Rocky areas   31%
Introduced vegetation   8%
Artificial - terrestrial   14%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research 81%
tourism/recreation 7%
urban/industrial/transport 12%

Protection status Creating the Mogoltau nature reserve is proposed to conserve the the unique fauna and flora.

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mogoltau massif. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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