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Location Turkmenistan, Balkan
Central coordinates 54o 27.18' East  37o 32.35' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 39,785 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

BirdLife Central Asia Programme (Country programme)

Site description The IBA is situated in the south-west of Turkmenistan 70 km from Etrek which is to the west of Esenguly. The northern and southern boundaries of the site are notional, varying with extent of flooding of the river Etrek. The western border is the artificial dam of the Ajyyab spawning area. In the east, the site is limited by small plots of agricultural land. This site belongs to the Esenguly district of Balkan region. The IBA is located between the dry Mashad desert in the north and the humid Astrabad province of Iran in the south. The site is a clay plain with strong saline soils and a jagged shallow riverbed channel. There are scattered hills which are the outliers of an ancient Caspian terrace. There are shallow and plant-filled freshwater lakes (Big Delili and Little Delili, Garajabatyr water reservoir and others) in the depressions. Their water regime depends on the intensity of flooding. The floods are not regular due to a deficit of water in the Etrek river. The last large period of flooding was recorded in 1976-1981. The water in the river is turbid and contains a lot of minerals. In the western part of the IBA there is the Ajyyab spawning area, where the main volume of floodwater collects. The spawning area has been dry for the last ten years and has not functioned. In summer many other lakes and waterbodies also dry up. The IBA is situated in a dry tropic zone with warm dry summers and humid warm winters. The average annual temperature is 17.1C, with a maximum of +48C and minimum of –16C (sporadically). The average temperature of January is +4.3C. The average annual rainfall is up to 200 mm, the main part of which falls from November to April. The number of days with precipitation is about 30-60. Cloudy days are common (c74 days/year). The number of days without frost is 296. Brackish soils and heavy clay loams alternate with sandy and sandy-loam sierozems. There are marsh-meadow and marsh soils in the depressions.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala passage  2006-2007  2 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug passage  2006-2007  1 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii breeding  2006-2007  2 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  2006-2007  7 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama breeding  2006-2007  16 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Upcher's Warbler Hippolais languida breeding  2006-2007  25 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  2006-2007  13 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus breeding  2006-2007  20 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  2006-2007  10 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Hazar State Nature Reserve 1,310,185 protected area overlaps with site 2,785  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert Desert & semi-desert - clay; Desert & semi-desert - salty  20%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams; Standing brackish & salt water; Standing fresh water; Temporary water bodies; Water-fringe vegetation  60%
Shrubland Low bushes  10%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved reseeded grasslands  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
rangeland/pastureland 10%
water management 40%
not utilised 20%
unknown 10%

Other biodiversity The local fauna is desertic in nature with mainly desert and hygrophilous species. Characteristic mammals include wild boar, wolf, jackal, fox, porcupine and Tolai hare. Many European vertebrates are on the edge of their range here. The vegetation of the hills and hillocks is rather poor with Eremopyrum orientale, ephemerals and annual salsola. On the depressions Salsola gemmascens occurs, and in inundated meadows typical species are grasses and sedge (Aeluropus spp., Puccinellia spp., Bromus japonicus). On shore of the lakes Bolboschoenus maritimus, Juncus, Phragmites australis, Typha and Tamarix can be found, with Myriophyllum spicatum and Ceratophyllum in the waterbodies themselves. Cladophora usually grows on flooded areas.

References Dementyev P.G. (1952) Birds of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Proceedings of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences TSSR, Volume 1. 546p.(in russian). Dementyev G. P., Rustamov A.K. (1969). Reserve "Gasan-Kuli". Reserves of Soviet Union. Moscow. 418-422. (in russian). Karavaev A.A. (1991). Numbers and allocation of waterfowls in Southeast Caspian Coastal. The Environment and fauna Southeast Caspian Coastal. Proceedings of the Hasar state reserve. Issue 2. Moscow: 37-143. (in russian). Rustamov A.K., Vasilev V. I (1976). Natural reserves of USSR: (All-Union ¬ ornithological Krasnovodsk reserve). Moscow: Znanie. 48 p. (in russian). Dementyev G. P, Rustamov A.K. (1969). Reserve "Gasan-Kuli". Reserves of Soviet Union. Moscow: 418-422. (in russian). Karavaev A.A. (1995). Natural conditions of complexes in Krasnovodsk reserve. Reserved issues in new social and economic conditions. Thesis of Report of international conference. St. Petersburg. 115-117p. (in russian). Rustamov A.K. (1958) Birds of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Proceedings of the Turkmen Academy of Sciences TSSR, Volume 2. 333p. (in russian). Rustamov A.K. (2007). Francolin – Francolinus francolinus Linnaeus, 1766. Birds of Central Asia. Almaty. Vol.1:308-314. (in russian).

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

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