|Location||Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan autonomous region|
|Central coordinates||60o 22.41' East 43o 39.22' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||49 - 59m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2011|
Summary The Akpetky lake system is located 70 km to the north of Karauzyak village between the northwestern Kyzylkum and Aralkum in the area of the former Akpetky archipelago. Aralkum is a sand desert that has formed on the former Aral seabed. The avifauna of the Akpetky lake system is quite varied. The site is proposed as an IBA based on the analysis of data collected during expeditions on 16-28 October 2010 and 9-17 June 2008, and data obtained by Matekova G.A. in 2007 and 2008 (Table). 156 species of bird have been recorded, of which 19 species are rare, with 17 species included in The Red Data Book of Uzbekistan (2006) and 8 in the IUCN Red List. Water bodies are used for commercial fishing. Due to the remoteness of the site (more than 70 km from the nearest settlement) cattle are not grazed.
Ornithological information The avifauna of the Akpetky lake system is quite varied. The site is proposed as an IBA based on the analysis of data collected during expeditions on 16-28 October 2010 and 9-17 June 2008, and data obtained by Matekova G.A. in 2007 and 2008. 156 species of bird have been recorded, of which 19 species are rare, with 17 species included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan (2006) and 8 in the IUCN Red List: Pelecanus onocrotalus, Pelecanus crispus, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, Egretta garzetta, Plegadis falcinellus, Phoenicopterus roseus, Cygnus olor, Anser erythropus, Aythya nyroca, Oxyura leucocephala, Haliaeetus albicilla, Aquila heliaca, Aquila nipalensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Circaetus gallicus, Tetrax tetrax, Numenius arquata, Pterocles alchata, Coracias garrulus. Habitats (sandy desert and waterbodies)are in good condition as can be seen from the abundance of biome species. Of all of the desert and semi-desert biome IBAs, this site has the highest variety of biome species. Eleven biome species have been recorded and two others– Pallas’s Sandgrouse and Houbara Bustard – may breed but data is insufficient to confirm this.
Site description The Akpetky lake system is located 70 km to the north of Karauzyak village between the northwestern Kyzylkum and Aralkum in the area of the former Akpetky archipelago. Aralkum is a sand desert that has formed on the former Aral seabed. A number of salt oxbow lakes are located along the Kokdarya riverbed. Some of these are fairly deep (5-7 meters). The largest among them are Ashykul, Akshoky, Orda and Soraly. The lake system is fed by the KS-4 collector and the Kokdarya River. The water bodies have great fishery potential and are leased.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina||passage||2010||115-15,000 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala||passage||2010||1-10 individuals||medium||A1||Endangered|
|Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus||passage||2007-2010||37-360 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus||passage||2010||2-410 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus||passage||2010||60-685 individuals||good||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Egyptian Nightjar Caprimulgus aegyptius||breeding||2007||unknown unknown||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|White-winged Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucopterus||breeding||2007||min 3 individuals||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Turkestan Ground-jay Podoces panderi||breeding||2007||unknown unknown||unknown||A3||Least Concern|
|Brown-necked Raven Corvus ruficollis||breeding||2007||unknown unknown||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama||breeding||2007||unknown unknown||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Warbler Sylvia nana||breeding||2010||min 1 individuals||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Saxaul Sparrow Passer ammodendri||breeding||2010||2-13 individuals||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Desert Finch Rhodopechys obsoletus||breeding||2010||min 212 individuals||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps||breeding||2007-2008||min 2 individuals||poor||A3||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||passage||2007-2010||20,000-26,000 individuals||medium||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Wooded desert & semi-desert||10%|
|Desert||Desert & semi-desert - salty; Desert & semi-desert - sandy||55%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers & streams; Standing brackish & salt water; Temporary water bodies; Water-fringe vegetation||25%|
Land ownership The landowners are 2 fishery farms.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity The vegetation of the desert around the Akpetky lake system is sparse. Around the water bodies saltworts, camel's-thorn and tamarisk bushes can be found. Reedbeds between 3-7 metres deep surround the lakes within which there are patches of reed mace. There are numerous rush islets on the open parts of the lakes and islands in the shallows. In addition to birds, the following vertebrates are common: • 8 fish species: Channa argus, Ctenopharyngodon idella, Abramis brama, Silurus glanis, Carassius carassius, Cyprinus carpio. • Amphibians: Rana ridibunda. • Reptiles: Trapelus sanguinolentus, Phrinocephalus interscapularis, Eremias velox, Natrix tesselata. • 15 mammals: Lepus tolai, Mus musculus, Alactagulus acontion, Dipus sagitta, Allactaga elater, Meriones tamariscinus, Meriones meridianus, Meriones libycus, Ellobius tancrei, Canis lupus, Canis aureus, Vulpes vulpes, Felis chaus, Meles meles, Sus scrofa. In recent years Gazella subgutturosa has been regularly recorded. According to rangers the population is estimated to be approximately 50-60 individuals.
Management considerations There are few threats at the site. 1. Weak control regulating hunting and fishing. 2. Overgrowing of water bodies by reed. About 20% of the open water is already overgrown. 3. The most significant threat is a total dependency on the water supply from the Kokdarya River.
Protection status There is no nature protected area. For the conservation of the unique Akpetky lake system, which is an excellent example of ecosystem recovery, the site should be given protected status. Reserve designation is hampered by the fact that this system is an important fishery. The restoration and water supply of these lakes carried out under the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP-1, ASBP-2) were designed specifically for the purpose of improving the environmental and socio-economic support of the local population. Therefore, the exclusion of the Akpetky lake system for reserve designation and a complete withdrawal of the water bodies from economic activity is contrary to the vital interests of the local population. The preferred solution would be the creation of an ornithological reserve with fishing permitted but hunting banned.
Conservation response Several studies have been carried out. In the spring of 2007 Matekova G. conducted a project of the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan "Gathering and processing information and developing an electronic database of the State cadastre of the current status of flora and fauna, as well as water bodies in protected areas of the Republic of Karakalpakstan" (Matekova, Report 2007). In 2008 UzSPB conducted a brief survey within the framework of the FAO project "Importance of Akpetkin and Zholdyrbas Lakes for birds and biodiversity“, 14-17 June 2008. In 2010 UzSPB conducted a survey during the autumn migration within the framework of the CLP-SOS project "Research of 3 Potential IBAs with collaboration of students in Uzbekistan" (16-28 October 2010) and with the financial support of IFAS (International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea).
Acknowledgements To SOS and CLP project "Survey of 3 Potential IBAs with the collaboration of students"
References 1. Matekova G., 2007. Report for the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan on project "Gathering and processing information and developing an electronic database of the State cadastre of the current status of flora and fauna, as well as water bodies in protected areas of the Republic of Karakalpakstan". 2. Ten A., 2007. UzSPB report on a field survey of the Akpetky lake system and Zholdyrbas lake within the framework of the FAO project "Importance of Akpetkin and Zholdyrbas Lakes for birds and biodiversity", 14-17 July 2008. 3. Ten A., 2007. UzSPB report on a field survey of the Akpetky lake system and Sarykamysh lake within the framework of the CLP-SOS project " Research of 3 Potential IBAs with collaboration of students in Uzbekistan", 16 October – 3 November 2010. 4. IUCN Red List //www.iucnredlist .org 5. Red Data Book of Uzbekistan. V. 2. Animals. Tashkent, 2009. 6. Joldasova I.M. Passport of water bodies: Ashykol, Shatyk, Akpekey, Ortalykkol, Karabayly, Soraly, Karabes
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Akpetky lakes and surrounding Aralkum Desert. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife