Gizilagach State Reserve

IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2005 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala EN winter 1996-2004 55-1,890 individuals A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Mute Swan Cygnus olor LC winter 1996-2004 750-12,593 individuals A4i, B1i
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus LC winter 1996-2004 600-9,200 individuals A4i, B1i, B3
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus LC winter 1996-2004 37 individuals B1i
Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis VU winter 1996-2004 120-340 individuals A1, B2
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC winter 1996-2004 3,500-19,200 individuals A4i, B1i
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons LC winter 1996-2004 2,200-11,950 individuals B1i
Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus VU winter 1996-2004 1,100-3,652 individuals A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula LC winter 1996-2004 2,500-6,500 individuals A4i, B1i
Smew Mergellus albellus LC winter 1996-2004 75-971 individuals B1i, B2
Goosander Mergus merganser LC winter 1996-2004 175-850 individuals B1i
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator LC winter 1996-2004 420-1,560 individuals B1i
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna LC winter 1996-2004 4,100-4,600 individuals A4i, B1i
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea LC winter 1996-2004 950-1,800 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris NT winter 1996-2004 200-1,600 individuals A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina LC winter 1996-2004 16,000-188,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Pochard Aythya ferina VU winter 1996-2004 31,000-197,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca NT winter 1996-2004 520-4,100 individuals A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula LC winter 1996-2004 25,000-81,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Greater Scaup Aythya marila LC winter 1996-2004 1,400-28,000 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Garganey Spatula querquedula LC winter 1996-2004 1,600-4,000 individuals B1i
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata LC winter 1996-2004 12,000-41,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Gadwall Mareca strepera LC winter 1996-2004 7,000-21,000 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC winter 1996-2004 11,000-120,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos LC winter 1996-2004 30,000-93,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Northern Pintail Anas acuta LC winter 1996-2004 7,000-25,000 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Common Teal Anas crecca LC winter 1996-2004 18,000-70,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis LC winter 1996-2004 5,640-6,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena LC winter 1996-2004 300-3,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus LC winter 1996-2004 1,650-2,400 individuals B1i
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis LC winter 1996-2004 2,600-3,500 individuals A4i, B1i
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus LC winter 1996-2004 3,750-14,500 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio LC resident 1996-2004 10,000-44,500 individuals A4i, B1i, B2
Common Coot Fulica atra LC winter 1996-2004 62,000-265,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax NT winter 1990-2004 2,800-30,000 individuals A1
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia LC breeding 1996-2004 800-1,350 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B2
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus LC breeding 1996-2004 900-3,000 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B2
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax LC breeding 1996-2004 3,000-4,700 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B2
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides LC breeding 1996-2000 3,800-16,800 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B2
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis LC breeding 1996-2004 1,400-54,000 breeding pairs A4i, B1i
Great White Egret Ardea alba LC winter 1996-2004 200-983 individuals B1i
Little Egret Egretta garzetta LC breeding 1996-2004 1,000-13,500 breeding pairs A4i, B1i
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus NT winter 1996-2004 23-190 individuals A1, A4i, B1i
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus LC breeding 1996-2004 2,000-11,200 breeding pairs A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus LC winter 1996-2004 7,100-9,825 individuals A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo LC winter 1996-2004 5,000-12,046 individuals A4i, B1i
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta LC winter 1996-2004 1,800-4,250 individuals A4i, B1i
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius CR winter 1996-2004 40 individuals A1, A3, B2
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NT winter 1996-2004 1,234-1,500 individuals B1i, B2
Sanderling Calidris alba LC winter 1996-2004 6,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Dunlin Calidris alpina LC winter 1996-2004 4,060-7,653 individuals B1i, B2
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans LC winter 1996-2004 2,600-3,620 individuals B1i
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla LC winter 1996-2004 14 individuals A1, B2
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a breeding 1980-1989 60,000 breeding pairs A4iii
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 1996 180,000-362,000 individuals A4iii

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2005).

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2008 unfavourable medium medium
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes habitat good

State (condition of the trigger species' habitats)
Habitat Habitat detail Reference area (ha) Actual area (ha) Habitat quantity (% remaining) Habitat quality (carrying capacity) Result
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water 0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
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 Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity medium
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Lesser Gizilaghaj State Nature Sanctuary State Nature Sanctuary 10,700 protected area contained by site 10,700
Gizilaghaj State Nature Reserve State Nature Reserve 88,360 protected area contained by site 88,360
Ghizil-Agaj Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 99,060 protected area contained by site 99,060

Local Conservation Groups

The Local Conservation Groups listed below are working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Gyzylagach branch of Azerbaijan Ornithological Society 2006
For more information on BirdLife's work with Local Conservation Groups, please click here.


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland -
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland -
Desert Semidesert -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater, Standing brackish and salt water, Water fringe vegetation, Shingle or stony beaches, Sand dunes and beaches -
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable land -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research -

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Gizilagach State Reserve. Downloaded from on 25/09/2023.