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Location Uzbekistan, Jizzakh,Navoi
Central coordinates 66o 51.82' East  40o 59.06' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i, A4iii
Area 158,198 ha
Altitude 75 - 247m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

Site description The IBA is situated in the south-eastern part of the Kyzylkum desert far from any settlements. It is located 50 km north-west of the district centre of Nurata, in Navoiyskaya province, and 60 km to the north-north-west of the district centre of Yangikishlak, in Djizakskaya province. The area includes islands, the shore zone (varying in width from 500 m to some kilometres), bays and surrounding desert (again varying in width from 500 m to 3.5 km). The IBA is covers the northern shore of the lake and adjoining desert from 500-700m to 2,5-3,5 km wide. Aydarkul lake is the largest waterbody in the Aydar-Arnasay lake system. The lake formed in 1969 as a result of emergency water evacuation from the Chardara water reservoir. At present it is fed by water from Tuzkan lake and Arnasay water reservoir. The total area of the lake is 2,020 km2, its length is about 140 km (aligned west to east), and its width is 25-27 km. The average depth is 12m, maximum depth is up to 30m. The shores are gently sloping and strongly indented with many narrow, shallow bays, isolated small lakes with tugai vegetation and reed. Some lakes are up to 15-20% overgrown. The lake freezes but not annually. Freezing-over can occur from December-January until March. Mineralization is low near the Arnasay inflow but high in the western part of the lake. The shoreline desert has a good growth of young Halaxylon persicum, Ammodendron cannolyi, tamarisk and Karelinia sp. in hollows. Aydarkul is included in the list of waterbodies of regional importance - Agreement about conservation and use of migrating species of birds and mammls and their habitats (МЭС, Agreement А.25 from 09.09.1994).

Key Biodiversity According to the literature and IBA survey data about 220 species of 14 orders have been recorded since th 1970s. Aydarkul lake is the largest area of habitat for more than 100 species of waterbirds in the region. There are 13 species included on the International Red List, 10 of them connected directly with wetlands. 24 species are included in the National Red Data Book, 10 species are included on Appendix I and 77 on Appendix II of the CMS. Aydarkul is located on the Central Asian flyway and is a concentration place for migrating and wintering waterbirds. It is a dominant waterbody in the boundary zone between cold and warm wintering grounds. 192,000 birds of 37 species were recorded during aerial counts in 2000, 32,000 of 43 species in 2004 (by foot count) and 24,000 of 72 species in 2007 (by foot count). According to Ramsar Convention criteria this waterbody has international significance as a stable wintering place and place of concentration for migrating waterbirds. The most numerous species are Fulica atra, Egretta alba, Netta rufina, Aythya ferina, Anas platyrhynchos, Phalacrocorax carbo and Anser anser. Birds with international protection status (IUCN RL) are Chlamydotis undulata, Pelecanus crispus, Oxyura leucocephala, Aythya nyroca, Aquila heliaca, Haliaeetus leucoryphus and Aegypius monachus. Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Pelecanus crispus, Cygnus olor, Cygnus cygnus, Aythya nyroca, Oxyura leucocephala, Milvus migrans, Aquila nipalensis, Aquila heliaca, Haliaeetus albicilla, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Aegypius monachus and Larus ichthyaetus have national protection status and are included in the National RDB.

Non-bird biodiversity: Typical representatives of desert fauna occur: Varanus griseus, Testudo horsfieldi, Agamidae, Meriones meridianus, Rhombomys opimus, Spermophilopsis leptodactylus, Dipodidae, Lepus capensis tolai, Vulpes vulpes caragan, Vulpes corsac, Felis libyca and Felis chaus. Sus scrofa, Meles meles, ondatra and Myocastor coypu are representative of the wetlands. Numbers are generally stable and changes are not connected with human activities. Gazella subgutturosa has been regularly recorded recently. Threatened species include Alsophilax laevis, Varanus griseus, Testudo horsfieldi, Vulpes corsac, Gazella subgutturosa, and the plant Cousinia polimetica tschernea.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  2000-2007  794-6,091 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1997-2007  350-2,800 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1997-2007  1,500-8,750 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1997-2007  560-2,500 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  2000-2007  33-295 individuals  medium  A1  Near Threatened 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  2004  8 individuals  poor  A1  Endangered 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus passage  1997-2007  260-350 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Egret Ardea alba winter  2000-2007  186-6,011 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus passage  1997-2007  38-400 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  2000-2007  9-107 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1997-2007  500-2,500 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo resident  2000-2007  1,551-7,076 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Chlamydotis undulata breeding  1997-2007  4-41 individuals  medium  A1, A3  Not Recognised 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  2000-2007  31,522-189,181 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus breeding  2007  181 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius breeding  1997-2002  8 individuals  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis breeding  1997-2007  max 8 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Parus bokharensis resident  1997-2007  92 individuals  medium  A3  Not Recognised 
Streaked Scrub-warbler Scotocerca inquieta resident  1997-2002  13 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Warbler Sylvia nana breeding  1997-2002  57 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus breeding  2007  145 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps breeding  1997-2002  60 individuals  medium  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2000-2007  24,782-192,658 individuals  medium  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Desert   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Not assessed  No management planning has taken place  Not assessed  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Aydar-Arnasay Lakes system Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 527,100 protected area contains site 158,198  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Wooded desert & semi-desert  7%
Desert Desert & semi-desert - sandy  31%
Wetlands (inland) Standing fresh water; Water-fringe vegetation  62%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 20%
fisheries/aquaculture 60%
water management major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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