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Location Tajikistan
Central coordinates 67o 34.25' East  39o 30.72' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 4,280 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Site description The IBA is situated on the left bank of the Zeravshan river, which rises in the mountains and joins with a large tributary of the Magiyan river, joining at Duoba. Upon leaving the mountains the Zeravshan river divides into many branches, with a variety of permanet and temporary islands between them. 80% of the area is covered with flood-plain forest consisting of thickets of Elaeagnus orientalis, Hippophae rhamnoides, Tamarix arceuthoides, some species of Rosa, Populus bachofenii, Populus tadahikistanica, Salix capusii and others. The soil is loamy-sandy overgrown in wet areas with herbs forming dense meadows in some places. This area of tugay are the only flood-plain forests in Northern Tajikistan. They form dense thickets, impassable in places. The tugay ecosystem of the Zeravshan river valley differs from the ones of Vahsh, Syrdarya and Kafirnigan rivers in several features. The IBA overlaps with the Zaravshan zakaznik which is near Sarazm. IBA creation and maintenance of regulations will help in the conservation and reconstruction of tugay and the fauna of the region. It will be the determinative factor for the stabilization of breeding, migrating and wintering species of birds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  2003-2006  2-4 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Yellow-eyed Pigeon Columba eversmanni breeding  2003-2006  30-40 breeding pairs  medium  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius breeding  2003-2006  5-8 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2003-2006  60-65 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
White-winged Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucopterus resident  2003-2006  4-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Great Tit Parus major resident  2003-2006  10-12 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta breeding  2003-2006  4-6 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  2003-2006  8-10 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  2003-2006  30-35 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Zeravshansky (Sarezmsky) Nature Refuge/s (Zakaznik) 5,000 protected area contains site 4,280  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   71%
Shrubland   6%
Wetlands (inland)   14%
Artificial - terrestrial   9%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 90%
agriculture 9%

Other biodiversity Fish: Leuciscus leuciscus, Rutilus rutilus, Gobio gobio, Varicorhinus capoeta, Barbus brachycephalus, Schizothorax intermedius, Alburnoides bipunctatus, Capetobrama kuschakewitschi, Cyprinus carpio, Carassius auratus, Nemachilus stoliczkai, Cobitis taenia, Silurus glanis, Gambusia affinis occur in the Zeravshan river and its large tributaries. Amphibia are Bufo viridis and Rana ridibunda. Reptiles include Testudo horsfieldi, Gymmodactylus russowi, Gymmodactylus fedtschenkoi, Agama sanguinolenta, Agama lehmanni, Varanus griseus, Ophisaurus apodus, Lacerta agilis, Eremias velox, Eremias nikolskii, Ablefarus brandti, Eryx tataricus, Natrix tesselata , Vipera lebitina, species of genus Coluber and others. Mammals: Lepus tolai, Mus musculus, Nesokia indica, Ellobius talpinus, Rattus rattoides. Carnivores are Canis lupus, Canis aureus and Vulpes vulpes. Artiodactyla are Sus scrofa and Cervus elaphus bactrianus. 80% of the IBA is covered with well conserved flood-plain forest formed by thickets of Elaeagnus orientalis, Hippophae rhamnoides, Tamarix arceuthoides and some species of Rosa. Populus bachofenii, Populus tadahikistanica, Salix capusii and others can also be found.

Protection status The issue regarding the creation of the Sarazm IBA, including the Zeravshan game-reserve, was discussed with the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2006.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sarazm. Downloaded from on 26/07/2014

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