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Location Kazakhstan, Karaganda region
Central coordinates 68o 20.00' East  46o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 49,690 ha
Altitude 197 - 314m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (Affiliate)

Site description The site is situated on the north-western outskirts of the Betpak-Dala desert region, 100 km north-north-east of the district centre of Zhezkazgan. The landscape is a combination of rough, eroded clayey plains and sands. The area includes the western fringe of the sand dunes of the Karakoiyn and Zhetikonyr sand massifs extending in a latitudinal direction from an area of alkali soil depressions at the foot of the moderately high Betpak-Dala plateau escarpment to the region enclosed by a large bend of the Sary-Su river. The area represents the distinct frontier zone of prolific sands and clayey semi-desert plain and the narrow strand of alkaline land covered with a patchwork of Lasiagrostis splendens, supportinging on its verges a belt of sparse Elaeagnus and Haloxylon forest.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca breeding  2007  15-18 breeding pairs  good  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis passage  2007  5 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus breeding  2007  2 breeding pairs  good  A3  Near Threatened 
Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax breeding  2007  1 breeding pairs  good  A3  Near Threatened 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Wooded desert & semi-desert  5%
Desert Desert & semi-desert - clay; Desert & semi-desert - salty; Desert & semi-desert - sandy  95%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport 5%
Notes: The gas-transportation infrastructure (pipe-lines, power-lines).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands. Downloaded from on 21/08/2014

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