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Location Kyrgyzstan, Naryn
Central coordinates 75o 10.40' East  41o 50.20' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 30,000 ha
Altitude 3,016 m
Year of IBA assessment 2010

Public Association NABS (Affiliate)

Site description Territory includes high mountainous lake Son-Kul and coastal wetland areas

Key Biodiversity Criterion A1 is applied to the site because of Black stork, Bar-headed goose, Saker falcon, Demoiselle crane, birds of prey: Bearded and Himalayan vultures, Golden eagle, are in Red List of Kyrgyzstan. Criterion A4iii is applied because of waterfowl and waterbirds that use lake during migration and molting. Also here is the breeding colony of Black-headed gull and the highest mountainous breeding population of Demoiselle crane.The lake is one of the breeding sites of Bar-headed goose, Black stork and large raptors. Ruddy shelduck and waders are concentrated here during the passage and molting. Site hosts 190 bird species.

Non-bird biodiversity: Territory hosts more than 30 species of mammals such as Grey marmot, Fox, Wolf, Argali and Siberian Ibex. The Lake is home for 7 species of fish. Plant life presented here is ca. 300 species of plants mainly different species of sedges and fescue, reedmace and others along the shores.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea breeding  300-1,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus breeding  100-1,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug resident  2-4 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Endangered 
Common Coot Fulica atra breeding  500-10,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1,026-12,930 breeding pairs  medium  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Karatal-Zhapyrk NR State Nature Reserve 5,980 unknown 0  
Sonkul Wildlife Refuge 30,000 protected area contained by site 30,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Alpine, subalpine & boreal  30%
Wetlands (inland) Standing fresh water  40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 30%
nature conservation and research 40%
tourism/recreation 20%

Protection status Sites of reserve are protected only in summer time

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled 29-09-2006 by S. V. Kulagin (NABU), received by BirdLife Cambridge May 2008, translated by Tsovinar Hovhannisyan in summer 2010, entered into WBDB by Rory McCann in autumn 2010.

References Kidiraliev A. K. Birds of Son-Kul and Chatyr-Kul lakes. Kirgiz SSR, Vol. 4, Edition 1- Frunze, 1962 Kidiraliev A. K. Birds of reservoirs of Central Tian-Shan- Frunze: ilim, 1973 Kidiraliev A. K. Birds of lakes and montane rivers of Kyrgyzstan- Frunze: ilim, 1990

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Son-Kul Lake. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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