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Location Tajikistan
Central coordinates 69o 28.93' East  37o 58.15' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 69,441 ha
Altitude 570 - 1,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The Dangara massif lies between the Vakhsh and Pyandj rivers and is situated between the Vakhsh range and Kizilsu river valley at an altitude of 550-570 m above sea level, near Kulyab. There is a road and railway in the middle of the massif connecting Kulyab with Kurgantube and the capital, Dushanbe. The IBA is centred on Dangara mountain and covers 40,000 hectares of gentle hills, richly vegetated in spring. There are no trees. Before development, the massif had been used as autumn-winter pastures. Since construction of the Nurec hydroelectric power station and Nurec water reservoir (about 70 km long and from 800-900m to 3-4km wide), there has been the possibility of irrigating the massif and now 20-25% of virgin and long-fallow land has been developed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
See-see Partridge Ammoperdix griseogularis resident  2003-2006  150-300 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea winter  2003-2006  500-520 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  2003-2006  2-3 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Common Crane Grus grus winter  2003-2006  1,488-1,952 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  2003-2006  3-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus neglectus breeding  2003-2006  3-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Eastern Rock-nuthatch Sitta tephronota breeding  2003-2006  2-3 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Robin Irania gutturalis breeding  2003-2006  20-30 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  2003-2006  10-15 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata breeding  2003-2006  2-4 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Wheatear Oenanthe chrysopygia breeding  2003-2006  2-4 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-breasted Bunting Emberiza stewarti breeding  2003-2006  4-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani breeding  2003-2006  4-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland   -
Grassland   56%
Desert   7%
Wetlands (inland)   9%
Artificial - terrestrial   28%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 90%
urban/industrial/transport 4%
water management 6%

Other biodiversity Fish: Schisothorax intermedius, Cyprinius carpio and Silurus glanis are found in the Kyzylsu and Toirsu rivers. Schisothorax intermedius and Cyprinius carpio can also be found in Selbursay water reservoir. Amphibia: Rana ridibunda and Bufo viridis. Reptilia: : Testudo horsfieldi, Gymnodactylus caspius, Agama sanguinolenta, Varanus griseus, Ophisaurus apodus, Eremias regeli, Ablepharus brandti, Eumeoces schneideri, Typhlops vermicularis, Ablepharus deserti, Eryx tataricus, Coluber ravergieri, Naja oxiana and Vipera lebetina. Mammals: there were many Gazella subgutturosa on the open spaces of the massif until the end of the 20th century, now they are absent. Ovis vignei and Capra falconeri can be found on the mountainsides of the Vaksh range and in the foothills of Sarsaryak mountain. All of these species are included in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan. Sus scrofa has increased in number for the last 20 years. Predators include Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Hyaena hyaena, Vormela peregusna and Felis chaus. Felis pardus occurred until the middle of the 20th century. Hystrix leucura, Rattus turkestanicus (Rattus rattoides), Nesokia indica, Ellobius talpinus, Rhombomys opimus and Lepus tolai also occur. The IBA’s flora is typical semi-desert, mainly herbaceous. The vegetation begins to grow from the middle of February, flowering in early spring (March-April) and beginning to die back from the middle of May. Poa bulbosa and Carex pachystylis are found in the restricted bluegrass-sedge semi-savanna zone. There are Salsola richteri, Haloxylon persicum and Danthonia forsskalii in the sandy foothills. Ephemeral grasses are mainly Psilurus aristatus and Parapholis incurva, with Phlomis bucharica in the higher areas. Tamarix and Rosa occur in the depressions between the hills. After the majority of species have died back, the only species to be found are the xerophytic Alhagi kirghisorum and some species of Artemisia.

Protection status There are no protected areas in the IBA.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dangara massif. Downloaded from on 20/08/2014

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