Site description IBA is in administrative Chu region of Chu oblast, 5 km to the west of Chu-Tokmok city. This territory is situated in the middle of Chu valley and is the most preserved wetland areas. It stretches from the Boom gorge in the east and Muyunkum desert in the west about 200 km length. This is relatively flat area with altitudinal differences from 420 to 440 m above sea level. It is confined by the ancient river bed Chu in the south and flood flows of modern River Chu the north.
Hydro geography network of IBA is represented by the rivers Red and Black and its multiple nameless natural springs, since IBA is located in the area of groundwater discharge from the rivers Chu and Shamsi. There are 4 artificial ponds in the northern part of IBA totaling 5 ha. Rivers, springs, their numerous outflows and river-formed lakes don't freeze during the winter time. In cold winters ponds cover in ice sheets for several days, but melt once it gets warmer. The main part of the IBA (about 70%) is covered with reed beds, sea buckthorn with patches of willow, poplar and elm-tree. Farmlands used as pastures, are in the eastern part of IBA. In 1960s this territory belonged to the State reserve to conserve and reintroduce Common pheasant and since 1997 has been given to the president’s system as hunting area.
Key Biodiversity Criterion A4i is applied to this site because it is stopover for hundreds of thousands birds during the spring and fall. In terms of urban landscape before (or after) the crossing the mountain range Tian-Shan, this is the only place for dozens of species waterfowl, waterbirds, raptors and passerine birds to have a rest and to feed. This is also wintering place for raptors, waterfowl and local mountain passerine birds. Abundance of reed beds, good food supply(sea buckthorn, oleaster) wetlands and shallows are provide high diversity and congregation of birds during all seasons, especially in spring and fall passage, when reeds host tens of thousands of birds.
Non-bird biodiversity: This is the only place of valley population of roe (about 80 individuals), relatively high number of fox, are seen shrews, common vole, muskrat and in 70s had spread form Kazakhstan and began to inhabit jackal. Central Asiatic frog inhabited here. From the plants occurs the endemic of Orchidaceae.
Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled on 24-Jan-2006 by V. I. Toropova, received by BirdLife Cambridge May 2008, translated by Tsovinar Hovhannisyan in summer 2010, entered into WBDB by Rory McCann in autumn 2010.
References Migrations of birds in Kyrgyzstan. Group of scientists, Frunze, 1978, 172 p.
Torpova V. I., Shukurov E. D. Mass migration of birds in Northern Kyrgyzstan. Frunze, 1991, 199 p.
Torpova V. I. Mass congregation of migratory and wintering birds in Northern Kyrgyzstan. Second Pan Soviet Union Countries conference about bird migration, Alma-Ata 1978, P. 167-168
Fedyanina T. F., Torpova V. I., Kumushaliev B., K. Areas of mass congregations of birds during the migration in Chui valley. Birds migrations in Asia, Alma-Ata, 1976, P. 136-139
Ukhmirina G. S. Birds of Chu valley.
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