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Location Uzbekistan, Kashkadarya
Central coordinates 66o 6.47' East  38o 21.09' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iv
Area 19,928 ha
Altitude 600 - 900m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Non-bird 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus passage  1997-2007  100-500 individuals  poor  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus winter  1997-2007  20-100 individuals  medium  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   

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining oil and gas drilling likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert Desert & semi-desert - clay  94%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  6%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 100%

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: South-west Gizzar Foothills. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife