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Location Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan autonomous region
Central coordinates 56o 18.45' East  42o 35.49' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 5,288 ha
Altitude 46 - 78m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)



Site description The IBA is located in the south of the Karakalpak Ustyurt in the Asske-Audan depression. In the past the southern parts of the Assake-Audan and Sarykamish Depressions formed a common lake basin through which the Amudarya flowed and where the Uzboy river began flowing into the Kaspiy. Currently this is rather deep depression is difficult to access and has well-marked precipices in some places. There are several artesian wells with brackish water in the depression. There are dense thickets of reed and tamarisk around the wells covering about 2.5 km2. The site includes part of the depression and the adjoining highlands in the north and north-west with Haloxylon forests.

Key Biodiversity The number of species occurring at Assake-Audan is not known accurately as it is a place where many species passing the Ustyurt Plateau stop. Their occurrence is connected with the availability of water. Also Assake-Audan is situated between the Kaspiy, the Aral and the northern part of Sarykamysh lake so that it functions as a staging post for birds on several intersecting of flyways. Two days of IBA fieldwork recorded Ardea cinerea, Accipiter nisus, Circus cyaneus, Rallus aquaticus, Calandrella rufescens, Hirundo rustica, Motacilla alba, Luscinia svecica, Cettia cetti, Sylvia curruca, Phylloscopus collybita, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Rhodospiza obsoletus, Passer domesticus, Sturnus vulgaris, Emberiza bruniceps and Corvus frugilegus. The remains of a dead gull were also found.

Non-bird biodiversity: The mammal fauna is very similar to that of the Ustyurt in general. Typical species include Ovis vignei (UzRDB) which was present in 1956; and Gazella subgutturosa (UzRDB) and Saiga tatarica (RL). Paraemichinus hupomelas (UzRDB) and Testudo horsfieldi (RL) occur according to the literature. Flora: Malococarpus crithmifolius and Euphortia sclerocyathium are included in the National Red Book.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug breeding  2007  2-4 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
Chlamydotis undulata breeding  2007  2-4 individuals  good  A3  Not Recognised 
Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus breeding  2007  10-15 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 
Turkestan Ground-jay Podoces panderi breeding  1937-2007  3-6 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis breeding  2007  2-4 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Warbler Sylvia nana breeding  2007  20-40 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus breeding  2007  10-50 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  2007  15-30 individuals  good  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 low not assessed not assessed
unset
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Energy production and mining oil and gas drilling happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Low bushes  5%
Desert Desert & semi-desert - clay; Desert & semi-desert - salty  85%
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
energy production and mining 5%

Protection status There are no Protected Areas.

References Data of the UZ IBA Uz Expedition, October 2007. Report.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Northern part of the Assake-Audan depression. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

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