|Location||Kazakhstan, North-Kazakhstan region|
|Central coordinates||68o 44.00' East 54o 14.50' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||130 - 131m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information Owing to its ecological characteristics, special geographical position and the particular agriculture on the surrounding land, the moderately sized Zhylandy lake has always been a reliable stop-over site for many hundreds of thousands of migrating waterbirds crossing this area. In addition to supporting several globally threatened or rare birds (Branta ruficollis, Melanitta fusca, Cygnus cygnus, Anser erythropus, Haliaeetus albicilla, Casmerodius albus, Grus grus and others), the site is important for the large number of common species of waterfowl it holds, many of which are being intensively exploited by man for hunting interest. Without such refuges, the presently plentiful game species might be severely reduced in number in a matter of years. Owing to its well-developed and expansive reedbeds the site is favoured by many breeding waterbirds. A recent attempt (2007) to verify the appropriateness of conferring the A4iii criterion on the site for the regular occurrence of species such as Anser albifrons was thwarted because of unseasonal meteorological conditions. A protracted spell of mild weather encouraged geese to pass straight over the region rather than settling which is the normal trend.
Site description The site is located on the right bank of the Ishym river valley in the Akkaiyn district of the Northern Kazakhstan region. Lying on the notional line connecting the major Astana-Kokchetav interregional motorway with the north-north-easterly course of the Ishym river, Zhalyndy Lake is positioned 25 km to the west of the former and approximately 20 km to the east of the latter. The waterbody occupies the central part of the area between Dmitriyevka and Zhanalyk. Another two large settlements, Ortalyk and Alka, connected by the line of a major country road, lie to the north of the lake. The lake is situated close to the southern boundary of the large Smirnovsky State Nature Preserve. The IBA forms part of the expansive lake country occupying the entire outer edge of the southern West-Siberian Lowlands. The major land form and vegetation is forest-steppe. About 50 years ago, during the process of agricultural development, more than half of the regional virgin land (mesophylic steppe) was ploughed and converted to agriculture. As a result, nowadays, the major part of the area around the lake is crop-fields. The remaining fragments of steppe and a meadow depressions are used as pasture. Very large numbers of migrating waterfowl use the area, benefitting both from forgaing opportunities on the fields and relative protection from the preserve status. Despite its relatively small size, Zhylandy is one of the more important lakes in the region. The lake has almost solid reed cover over 85-90% of its surface. The dense reed benefits some breeding species but the lack of open water reduces the number of passage birds.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greylag Goose Anser anser||passage||2007||6,000-15,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis||passage||2007||200-300 individuals||medium||A1||Endangered|
|Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus||passage||2007||1,500-2,500 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||passage||2007||20,000-40,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Standing fresh water; Water-fringe vegetation||40%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land; Highly improved reseeded grasslands||50%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other biodiversity The mammal fauna is poorly diversified. Murine rodents are most abundant and include Apodemus agrarius and Microtus arvalis and, in the wet habitats, Ondatra zibethica and Arvicola terrestris. Erinaceus europaeus, Neomys fodiens, Lepus timidus, Lepus europaeus, Mustela erminea and Mustela eversmanni are often encountered. Capreolus pygargus, Vulpes vulpes and Vulpes corsac are encountered occasionally. The dominant emergent vegetation is Phragmites australis. It occurs in some areas together with Typha angustifolia and Scirpus lacustris, while the muddy shoals are covered by Carex. A few patches of steppic meadows, featuring an assortment of rich-herbage-motley-turf-grass associations, remain. The major constituents of these floral compositions are Filipendula hexapetala, Rumex confertus, Achillea millefolium, Poa sp., Bromus inermis, Agrostis alba and Alopecurus sp. On saline areas Salicornia and Limonium sp occur. The isolated stands of deciduous forest are comprised, in general, of a few species of birch (including Betula verrucosa and B. pubescens) and aspen, the underbrush is Rosa sp.
Management considerations While some waterbirds (Anser anser, Anser albifrons, Anser erythropus, Branta ruficollis, Anas platyrhynchos and others) have benefited from the transformation of the native steppe to agriculture, frequent stubble burning has a negative impact on nesting and roosting populations. Hunting is not as intense as it could be because of the presence of the reserve. The exuberant reed growth discourages many arriving migrants but provides good breeding habitat for many other species.
Protection status The lake is situated close to the southern boundary of the large Smirnovsky State Nature Preserve (Zakaznik).
Conservation response Staff from the Smirnovsky Zakaznik carry out general control and periodic inventory of important game species.
References 1. Ryabintsev V.K (2001) Birds of Ural with adjacent territories and of Western Siberia. Ekaterinburg. Publishing of the Ural University. (in Russian) 2. Vilkov V.S. (2005) Birds of Northern Kazakhstan Region. Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan: Publishing of the Northern Kazakhstan Region State University. (in Russian) 3. Gubin S.V. (2004) Revision of Ornithofauna of Northern Kazakhstan Region. (Not published).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Zhylandy Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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