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Location Uzbekistan, Navoi
Central coordinates 65o 39.33' East  40o 19.16' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 5,769 ha
Altitude 550 - 1,100m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description The Sarmish IBA is located in the basin of the mountain river Sarmishsay and in part of the basin of the Karangigursay. It includes typical low mountains of the Kyzylkum desert with an elevation of 1,000-1,100 m above sea level. It is identical in area to the Sarmysh Nature Park. Gentle slopes dominate the landscape and alternate with gorges, rocks, precipices and aligned sites. Vegetation comprises gramineous-wormwood associations; wild thorny almond and other bushes on the stony plots. Hydrophilic vegetation (Tamarix sp., Eleagnus, Tamarix, reed and others) is developed in the gorges on the river banks. There are plantations of mulberry, walnut and other fruit trees. Vegetation cover is heavily degraded as a result of intensive grazing. There are unique rock paintings – petroglyphs - in the Sarmish gorge which is the basis of the nature park. According to different authors they number 3,000 to 5,000 and are about 25,000 years old (Kadyrova, 2000). There are also spectacular weathered rocks which look like people or animals in the gorge. All these give the area high historical and cultural significance.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  2007  62-86 individuals  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Eastern Rock-nuthatch Sitta tephronota resident  2007  150-250 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii breeding  2007  400-700 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata breeding  2007  30-50 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-necked Bunting Emberiza buchanani breeding  2007  600-1,200 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sarmysh Nature Park 5,000 is identical to site 5,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Low bushes  4%
Grassland Steppes & dry calcareous  73%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams; Water-fringe vegetation  8%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree, boulders & bare rocky areas  11%
Artificial - terrestrial Perennial crops, orchards & groves  4%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation 100%
rangeland/pastureland major

Other biodiversity The fauna of Sarmishsay has not been well studied and only fragmentary information is published. The animals of the nature park have attracted students and teachers of Bukhara University and Navoi teachers' training institute lately because of summer field studies. Mammals: Hemiechinus hypomelas, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, R.hipposideros, Myotis blythi, Lepus tolai, Hystrix indica, Spermophilus fulvus, Allactaga severtzovi, A.elater, Rattus turkestanicus, Mus musculus, Meriones lybicus, Rhombomys opinus, Ellobius tancrei, Vormela peregusna, Vulpes vulpes, Ovis ammon severtzovi and others. Of these Hemiechinus hypomelas, R.hipposideros and Ovis ammon severtzovi are included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan. Amphibia are Bufo viridis and Rana ridibinda. Reptiles include about 20 species including Agrionemys horsfieldi, Trapelus sanguinolentus, Stellio lehmanni, Phrynocephalus helioscopus, Pseudopus apodus, Cyrtopodion fedtschenkoi, C.russowi, Eumeces schneideri, Varanus griseus, Naja oxiana and Vipera lebetina. Naja oxiana and Vipera lebetina are included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan. The springs and brooks form the Sarmishsay in the upper part of Sarmish which flows for a distance of 20 km. Four species of fish and other aquatic species have been recorded. 54 species of invertebrate are known including Planaria sp., Anellida, Rotifera, Copepoda and others. Daphia pulex, D. magna, Chydorus sphaericus, Bosmina longirostris, Alona restangula and others dominate the zooplankton (Niyazov, Raimov, 2006; Niyazov et al, 2003). The flora of the nature park has not been studied specifically. Wormwood and iris formations are present on the plain steppe. Where wormwood is scarcer, cereals, Carex and ephemerals are more abundant plus mosses, oleaster, cane, tamarisk and other water-loving species. Spirogyra, Closterium, Ulothrix and others grow on stones near the water. There are 15 species of trees and 3 species of bushes in the orchards. Wild thorny almond, blackberry, locoweed, desert-candle, wheat grass, tulip and others can be found in high rocky places.

Protection status The Sarmish Nature park was created by the Navoi province administration. The main aims of the park are: protection of vegetation and animals, inorganic nature, unique rock paintings and historic-cultural heritage, recreation, and the aesthetic and scientific use of protected objects. In general designating the Sarmish nature park an IBA will increase its cultural, nature protection and educational significance.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sarmysh Nature Park. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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