|Location||Kazakhstan, Akmola region|
|Central coordinates||69o 53.00' East 50o 43.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||320 - 330m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Ornithological information Autumn counts in 2004 recorded 23,000 waterbirds of 32 species. The commonest species was Anser albifrons (26.3%), counted as the geese returned to the lakes after foraging on the adjacent fields. Other common species were Fulica atra (16.3%) and Anas clypeata (3.6%). Of particular note was the significant number of Oxyura leucocephala (2.4 %) which was present in more than a half of the areas inspected. In 2005 the site was counted on three occasions: 29.06, 02.09 and 17.09.2005. 42,500 birds of 46 species of waterbird were counted. Although precise data on species composition and numbers at the site in spring is lacking, reports suggest that significant numbers of migrants also occur on spring passage. For example, in May the site is known to hold flocks of Phalaropus lobatus numbering tens of thousands of birds that are prone to linger for weeks. Significant numbers of other northern waders occur at the same time. Also in some years in early May, groups of feeding Phoenicopterus roseus can be found on the temporary areas of flooding. Within the lake system, one area that is of particular importance is the small seasonal lake situated at the outskirts of Maishukur. A small island in the middle of this lake, prone to drying up, is a regular nesting site for gulls including Larus ichthyaetus, L. cachinnans, L. genei, L. minutus and others. The importance of the lake system in general for autumn migrants is demonstrated by counts from autumn 2005. The most numerous species were Fulica atra (16,700) and Aythya ferina (16,500). Dabbling ducks were also common, the commonest being Anas platyrhynchos (about 2,000). Two key species were Oxyura leucocephala (1,500; with 2,270 birds on 01.08 05) and Cygnus cygnus (more than 500, including 3 broods).
Site description The site consists of the group of waterbodies situated 90 km south-west of Astana and 20 km to the north of the Nura river, lying in the 5 km-wide strip of land next to the road connecting Korgalzhyn with Astana. The lake group represents the eastern periphery of the Tengiz lake system. The waterbodies are arranged in two distinct clusters running east-north-east from Maly (Small) Tengiz lake for a distance of 30 km. The system consists of 6 major lakes, Zhumai, Baibota, Temirastau and Maishukyr, and the larger Saumalkol (7 x 1.8 km) and Kumkol (3.8 x 1.7 km). Though the edges of the wetland complex were ploughed long ago, the relative abundance of swampy areas and patches of waterlogged saline land limit further agricultural development. However, the land nearest the shore is being impacted by cattle- and poultry-rearing activities. Further inland of the shores, there are cultivated fields (mostly wheat), and some recently abandoned fields. A few fragments of steppe and semi-desert vegetation survive on the surrounding plain. The shores and shallows of the lakes support an exuberant growth of reed.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons||passage||2004||6,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus||passage||2005||300-500 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea||passage||2005||1,450 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Gadwall Anas strepera||passage||2005||5,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope||passage||2005||15,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Mallard Anas platyrhynchos||passage||2005||11,000-15,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata||passage||2005||35,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Northern Pintail Anas acuta||passage||2005||15,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Pochard Aythya ferina||passage||2005||8,200-38,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula||passage||2005||9,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula||passage||2005||290-1,110 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||passage||2005||121-2,270 individuals||good||A1, A4i||Endangered|
|Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis||passage||2005||290-950 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Common Coot Fulica atra||passage||2005||30,000-50,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius||breeding||2005-2007||2-10 breeding pairs||medium||A1, A3, A4i||Critically Endangered|
|Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius||passage||2006||80-84 individuals||medium||A1, A3, A4i||Critically Endangered|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||breeding||2004-2005||4-20 individuals||medium||A1||Near Threatened|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||passage||2001||610 individuals||medium||A1||Near Threatened|
|Little Stint Calidris minuta||passage||2005||11,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ruff Philomachus pugnax||passage||2005||37,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus||passage||2005||37,000-55,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni||breeding||2006-2007||100-124 breeding pairs||good||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus||breeding||2004-2005||130-300 breeding pairs||good||A3||Least Concern|
|Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis||breeding||2005||150-200 individuals||medium||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||passage||2005||23,000-106,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land; Other urban & industrial areas||10%|
|Grassland||Humid; Steppes & dry calcareous||30%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Standing brackish & salt water; Standing fresh water; Temporary water bodies; Water-fringe vegetation||60%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Typical dry steppe faunal communities are common in the surrounding areas, with wetland species around the lakes. The natural vegetation complexes have been preserved on a small portion of lakes’ environs, with Stipa, Festuca and Artemisia being the main species. Groups of Karagana and Spirea sp are not uncommon.
Management considerations The site’s ecosystems are subject to the set of hazards common to all steppe lake systems positioned in more or less agriculturally developed areas: fires, pollution by agro-industrial chemical effluents, overgrazing etc. Domestic chicken-rearing on the periphery of some waterbodies may cause additional disturbance and pollution.
Acknowledgements The compilers express their sincere appreciation of the timely provision of expertly executed supplementary records on Zhumai lake by Scherbakov B.V, an employee of Ust-Kamenogorsk Regional Ethnography Museum and a professional ornithologist.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2013
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