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Location Turkmenistan, Akhal
Central coordinates 60o 47.43' East  36o 47.34' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iv
Area 162,909 ha
Altitude 216 - 550m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (Country programme)

Site description The Tejen IBA is a piedmont plain situated in the foothills of the East Kopetdag mountains. The southern part runs along the Turkmen-Iranian border, in the west the border crosses the plain around Chache. The northern border follows the channel of the Garagumdarya, and the east the valley of the Tejen river. The piedmont plain (200-350 m above sea level) consists of loess loams, neogene and anthropogenous sandy loams and clay divided by mudflows. The complex of soils consist of typical and light sandy-loams (sierozems) with small saline depressions. The vegetative cover is predominantly Poa-Carex ephemeral communities (Poa bulbosa + Carex pachystylis), forming sods plus dwarf saxaul-halophytic forbs. The climate closely resembles that of desert. The average annual temperature is +15 to +16С. The absolute minimum temperature is -24 to -36C and the absolute maximum is +45 to +48C. The main period of precipitation is during the winter-spring season with a total of 143 mm. There is a hydrographic network consisting of the Tejen and several small rivers - Mene, Chehelkaman, Chache and Sarygamysh - which completely dry up in the summer. There are a few wells (Kemek) and springs (Zarmi, Sad). The majority of settlements are located on the piedmont plain. The land is used mainly for grazing and small areas of gardens, irrigated land for cotton and vegetables, and dry farming of wheat and barley.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  1990  1 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  1988-2007  7,000-20,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Pallid Scops-owl Otus brucei breeding  2006  2 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius breeding  2006  2 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus passage  1990-2007  3-70 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
White-winged Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucopterus resident  2006  2 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  2006  10 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  2006  30 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  2006  40 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus breeding  2007  25 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  2006  15 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1988-2007  7,000-20,000 individuals  good  A4iv   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Meana-Chaacha Nature Sanctuary or Partial Reserve 60,000 protected area overlaps with site 32,582  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Low bushes; Scrub  12%
Grassland Dry grassland on sandy soils; Steppes & dry calcareous  40%
Desert Desert & semi-desert - clay; Desert & semi-desert - salty; Desert & semi-desert - sandy; Desert & semi-desert - stony  29%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams; Water-fringe vegetation  9%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Ruderal land  10%

Land ownership State.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 32%
nature conservation and research 40%
urban/industrial/transport 13%
not utilised 15%

Other biodiversity The flora contains more than 500 species. The vegetative cover is characterized by bulbous ephemeroids and ephemerals (Poa bulbosa-Carex pachystylis-Ephemerae) as one of the variants of the desert communities of piedmont plains. Shrubby and under-shrubby (Artemisia) associations are very limited in distribution. On rubble soils small patches of Hultemia persica and Ephedra intermedia form. Vegetation varies with relief and degree of soil salinization: ephemeral vegetation gradually passes into patches of Buhsea coluteoides, Salsola bungeana, S.kurbanovii and Reaumuria turkestanica, mixed with glasswort (Salsola glauca, S. subaphylla, S. dendroides), sagebrush (Artemisia scoparia, A. badhysi, A. turanica) and almonds (Amygdalus spinosissima). On salt marshes in the neighbourhood of Mene and Chache there is a psammophyte variant formed by thickets of Kalidium caspicum with scattered bushes of Reaumuria korovinii and Halotamnus acutifolius and Poa bulbosa. There are many rare species such as Tulipa lehmanniana, Malacocarpus crithmifolius and Gundelia tournefortii. Endemics are Salsola kurbanovii and Salsola bungeana which reaches its north-east border in the interfluves of the Mene and Chache. The rare Iranian species, Atalanthus acanthioides, grows in the Hojabolan area. (German, Kamakhina, 1983; Nikitin, Geldykhanov, 1988). Pistacia vera was planted in the neighbourhood of Mene in 1978 and some still survive. Amphibia and reptiles. Amphibia - 1 species and 16 reptiles (including 1 subspecies). Mammals - 20 species: Lagomorpha – 1 , rodents - 16, predators - 1 and 2 species of artiodactyles. Large mammals include Vulpes corsac, Gazella subgutturosa and Sus scrofa. Onager have been reintroduced to the Mene-Chache zakaznik since 1978. The total population today is about 100 individuals.

Protection status Mene-Chache State Nature zakaznik.

References Atayev Ch.А. (1985). Reptiles of mountains of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat:Ylym. (in russian) Bulyuk V.N., Shamuradov, А.К. (1994). Day migrations of birds in Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. (in russian) German V.B., Kamahina G.L. (1983). The natural conditions of Mena-Chache zakaznik and the first experience for reacclimatization of onager (kulan). Proceedings of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences. Biology Science. №1. (in russian) Efimenko, N.N. (1990). Autumn migration on the Common Crane over the eastern Kopetdag. Proceedings of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences. Biology Science. №4. (in russian) Efimenko, N.N. (1995). Spring migration on the Common Crane over the eastern Kopetdag Editor by Hartwig Prange – Crane research and Protection in Europe/Lufthansa. C.274. (in english) Ефименко, Н.Н. (2002). Migration on the Common Crane in the eastern Kopetdag // Problems of desert developments, № 3. (in russian). Korshunov V.M. (1989). An estimation of quantity of Common Cranes on spring migrations on Kopetdag piedmont plain in places of their concentration. Thesis of the Report of All-Union Meeting on a problem of the Cadastre and the fauna accounting. Ufa. USSR. (in russian). Kucheruk V.V. and Hlyap L.A. (2005) Lagomorpha and rodents of deserts of Central Asia. Moscow. (in russian). Kucheruk V.V. (1995) Mammals of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. Ylym. (in russian). National environmental action plan of Saparmyrat Turkmenbashy President of Turkmenistan (2002). Ashgabat. (in english) Rajapov M. (2002) Biodiversity Strategy and Action plan of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. Turkmenistan.(in english) Rajapov M. (2002) Country study report on the status of Biodiversity of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat. Turkmenistan.(in english) Rajapov M. (2002) Red Data Book of Turkmenistan. Invertebrates and vertebrate animals. (V.2). Ashgabat. (in russian). Rustamov E.A. (2004). Wintering of Common Cranes in Turkmenistan. – Information bulletin RGJ of Eurasia, Issue 7-8. Moscow. (in russian). Rustamov E.A., Saparmuradov D.S. (2005). Common Crane in Turkmenistan. Cranes of Eurasia. Issue 2. Moscow. (in russian). Saparmuradov D.S. (2001). Modern condition of protection and a level of studied of cranes in Turkmenistan. Information bulletin RGJ of Eurasia, Issue 2. Moscow. (in russian).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tejen. Downloaded from on 25/10/2014

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