|Central coordinates||66o 6.47' East 38o 21.09' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iv|
|Altitude||600 - 900m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2007|
Ornithological information This site is important for spring migration when the high mountains to the east are still covered with snow. The list of migrants is about 240-250 species. Apart from Passeriformes, the only recorded breeding species are Falco naumanni, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila chrysaetos and Buteo rufinus (common). Griffon Vultures are resident. In years when Acridoidea breed in large numbers, Sturnus roseus breeds in huge numbers, with colonies of up to 10,000 pairs.
Site description The IBA covers the vast foothills zone of the north-western base of the Baysuntau and Kugitang ridges of the western part of the Pamiro-Alay mountain system and consists of well-vegetated hills and small plains. This site is remote from large settlements, though there are a few cattle-breeders' huts, abandoned in winter. The site is a migratory bottleneck, especially for Grus virgo. There are many farm tracks, often impassable in spring because of rain, and vehicles are rare. There is a haymaking in May and June when the number of people increases considerably. There is a recent, progressive development of the foothills for dry crop cultivation which is reducing the amount of land available for cranes, but the majority of the area is still virgin land.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||passage||1997-2007||250-1,000 individuals||poor||A1, A4ii||Least Concern|
|Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus||winter||1997-2007||20-100 individuals||medium||A1, A4ii||Near Threatened|
|Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus||passage||1997-2007||100-500 individuals||poor||A1, A4ii||Near Threatened|
|Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo||passage||1997-2007||700-23,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1997-2007||23,000 individuals||medium||A4iv|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Desert||Desert & semi-desert - clay||94%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land||6%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The foothills are rich in wildlife in spring. There are many Agriocnemis horsfieldi and Ophisaurus apoda, and Naja naja and Vipera libetina are found regularly. Rodents: in some years there are very high numbers of Meriones lybica and Rhombomis opimus in the lower areas. Predators (Vulpes vulpes, V. corsac and Felis lybica) are common. Gazella subgutturosa used to be common but has now been exterminated.
Conservation response Detailed counts of migrating Grus virgo and their distribution on the site during spring migration (end of March-April) plus determining limiting factors hampering their presence on the site and identifying the areas of highest concentration. Counts of the number of migrating birds of prey including threatened species – Circus macrourus, Aquila clanga and Falco naumanni.
Access/Land-Owner requests To talk to local people about the dangers and impacts of the indiscriminate use of poison to control predators, including Aegypius monachus. To develop proposals for activities focused on the creation of one or several IBAs, such as seasonal reserves, on the site.
References Unpublished data of field surveys in 1995-1997 by O.V. Mitripolsky. Report data on the April 2007 expedition to the site, as part of the UZ IBA project, Oleg Mitropolskiy.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-west Gizzar Foothills. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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