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Location Uzbekistan, Khorezm
Central coordinates 60o 33.19' East  41o 16.32' North
IBA criteria A4i
Area 22,060 ha
Altitude 90 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)



Site description The IBA is situated on the left bank of the Khorezm oasis in the lower reaches of the Amudarya river on the border of the developed zone and the north-eastern parts of the Karakum desert. This site relates to the Turanskaya lowland and is located within the ancient Amudarya delta. The climate is arid and sharply continental with a hot summer and cold winter. The temperature reaches 37C in summer and drops to -20C in winter. In winter, the waterbodies are usually frozen. The waterbodies are situated in natural depressions and surrounded by loose hilly sands and alkaline land. The largest waterbody is Ulli-Shurkul lake. Its southern part is in Turkmenistan. All lakes and ponds are man-made or natural-anthropogenic and get water from canals and collectors. In the past, there were natural lakes with differ salinities which got water from flooding of the Amudarya river and surface flows. But from the middle of the 20 Century the natural hydrological conditions changed as a result of extensive irrigation works and development. Waterbodies such as Tozakul, Akkul, Tokkuzchukur, Daryalan, Yangishak and others were formed along the border of the oasis. Collector water reached Ulli-Shurkul lake also. Initially all of these waterbodies were isolated and with different mineralization but from the 1980s they were connected to each other by equalizing collectors which has led to a standard salinity throughout. The littoral vegetation is poorly developed. Ulli-Shurkul and Abulkul lakes have fishing value. Khorezmsky fish farm was created at the end of the 1970s and now its fishponds are an important habitat for waterbirds. The total area of the fish farm is 1,500 hectares. Khorezmskiy fish farm is second in importance for Uzbekistan and plays an essential role in the regional economy. The IBA is located not far from one of the ancient cities of Central Asia – Khiva - which is well known because of its historical and architectural monuments and attracts large numbers of tourists.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina passage  2007  3,000-7,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus passage  2007  800-900 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Pallas's Gull Larus ichthyaetus passage  2007  3,000-4,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus passage  2007  6,000-8,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   10%
Desert   40%
Wetlands (inland)   40%
Artificial - terrestrial   10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 6%
rangeland/pastureland 50%
fisheries/aquaculture 25%
hunting 30%
military 6%
tourism/recreation 6%
water management 40%

Other biodiversity Mammals are represented by 17 species of 6 orders. Gazella subgutturosa is included in the National Red Book (2003). Lynx caracal and Gazella subgutturosa are included on the IUCN Red List. Ondatra zibethicus, Sus scrofa and Lepus tolai are the most interesting game animals. There are 2 species of amphibian. Reptilia are represented by 17 species, one of them is included in the NRDB (Varanus griseus) and two are on the IUCN RL (Varanus griseus, Testudo horsfieldi). There are 36 species and subspecies of fish from 9 families. 24 species of fish Cyprinidae. Water vegetation and macro-zoobenthos. There are more than 40 species of plant in waterbodies studied (Hakberdiev, 1983). There are 47 species of macro-zoobenthos.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khorezm Fish Farm and adjacent lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/07/2014

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