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Location Kyrgyzstan, Naryn
Central coordinates 75o 14.80' East  40o 36.30' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 18,100 ha
Altitude 3,500 - 3,520m
Year of IBA assessment 2010

Public Association NABS (Affiliate)

Site description Chatyr-Kul is one of the largest drainless freshwater reservoirs in Kyrgyzstan. The Lake basin occupies the lowest part of tectonic ravine and situated between At-Bashi and Torugart-Too mountain ranges at over 3500 m above sea level.The length of the lake catchment is a weakly broken accumulative relief of mixed fluvial and lacustrine origins. Shores are mainly low-lying mostly swampy in the south and east and consist of 6 terraces. Only in the north, where limestone cliffs are too close to the water, shores are high. Lake basin is positioned in the zone of permafrost, in extremely cold weather conditions of this Inner Tian-Shan region. Climate of Chatyrkul region is sharp continental. Average annual air temperature is negative -5,6°, the summer maximum is +24°, the winter minimum is -50°. The average amount of precipitation is 208-209 mm of which 88-90% is received in summer. Winter with a lack of snowfall. The catchment basin is ca. 1050 km2. River network is poorly developed. Of 24 small rivers flowing into the lake, only Kok-Argyn river has permanent watercourse. Rivers freeze in winter. The waters of the lake have low salinity level and related to the chloride-bicarbonate-sodium-magnesium type. The water color of the lake is yellowish-green with 4 m transparency. The water temperatures in July August vary between 6-16°. The lake is 22,8 km long and 10,5 km wide, surface area is 161,1 km2, the maximum depth is 16,5 m, average is 3,8 m, volume is 620 million m3, the length of the coastlines is 58,5 km.

Key Biodiversity Criterion A3 is of primer importance for the site because species of Biome 05 are poorly represented here (Eurasian highland), a total of 9 species in 32 (28%) from Biome 02 are seen here, while Biome 04ab is poorly represented with 1-2 species. Vulnerable species classified as A1 include 4 species, their population numbers are yet to be surveyed. Same holds true for many of the species listed for Biomes whose population numbers are only very approximate.Considering the fact of global land acquisition, drainage of wetland areas, deforestation, etc. there are less and less habitats for birds on the Planet Earth. Lake Chatyr-Kul is one of few mass breeding places of birds, less susceptible to human-induced factors. Lake is positioned along the flyway of waterfowl and is the only place offering refuge to some of globally threatened species. Only based on these factors the lake is to be designated as protected area. On the territory ornithologists of Kyrgyzstan conducted llong-term studies of avian fauna with some intervals. The results of these studies have been published in many scientific articles and monographs (Bogdanov, 1900, Yanushevich, 1955, Kidiraliev, 1990, 1962, 1973, Stepanyan, 1960, Ostashenko, Davletbakov). During the long-term observations we have recorded 77 bird species, of which 9 are resident, breeding and migrants. Apart from this data species listed in Red book of Kyrgyzstan (2005) are of special interest, totalling 7.

Non-bird biodiversity: Large mammals known to occur here are Argali (Ovis ammon), Grey marmot (Marmota baibacina), Beech marten (Martes foina) and Least weasel (Mustela nivalis) are common. Plant life is presented with ca. 300 species, where Poaceae family predominates.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus breeding  2004  50-150 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea breeding  2004  300-10,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Baikal Teal Sibirionetta formosa passage  2004  20-100 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  2004  200-1,000 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus breeding  2004  500-1,500 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus passage  2004  100-500 individuals  medium  A4i  Vulnerable 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis breeding  2004  1,000-3,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug passage  2004  2-4 individuals  poor  A1  Endangered 
Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis resident  2004  1-3 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Near Threatened 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus resident  2004  1-2 breeding pairs  poor  A1  Near Threatened 
Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus breeding  2004  50-100 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Hume's Lark Calandrella acutirostris breeding  2004  unknown  A3  Least Concern 
Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogastrus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-streaked Accentor Prunella himalayana resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2006 medium not assessed low

Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Unknown  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chatyr Kul Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 16,100 protected area contained by site 16,100  
Chatyrkul Wildlife Refuge 19,000 protected area contains site 18,100  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires & springs; Raised bogs; Rivers & streams; Standing fresh water  74%
Coastline Saltmarshes; Shingle & stony beaches  26%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation 10%
other -

Protection status In the protected area is intensive catlle grazing, also poaching. On the southern part of the lake from 2-3 km are situated border outposts, which are poaching as well.

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled on 03-Oct-2006 by Davletbaky Askar Temirbekovich, received by BirdLife Cambridge May 2008, translated by Tsovinar Hovhannisyan in summer 2010, entered into WBDB by Rory McCann in autumn 2010.

References Bogdanov P. G. Chatyr-Kul lake.// Izv. RGO Vol 36. Edition 3 -1900 Yanushevich A. I Bar-headed goose.// Nature. N3-M, 1955 Kidiraliev A.K. Birds of Son-Kul and Chatyr-Kul lakes.// Izv. RGO Kirgiz SSR, Vol. 4, Edition 1-Frunze 1962 Kidiraliev A. K. Birds of Central Tian-Shan. Frunze: Ilim 1973 Kidiraliev A. K. Birds of lakes and montane rivers of Kyrgyzstan- Frunze: Ilim, 1990 Steponyan L.S. Towards the distribution and conservation of Bar-headed goose in Tian-Shan.

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

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