The Khankhovuz water reservoir was constructed between 1962 and 1966. It is one of the main bulk water reservoirs in the Garagumdarya zone. The IBA is located 65 km to the southeast of Tedjen city and southwest of Mary city.
The avifauna of the IBA includes 300 species of which more than 100 are waterfowl and waterbirds. The IBA consists of wetlands in the desert and provides favourable conditions for waterfowl and waterbirds, especially during migration and in winter.
Criterion А1 applies for Pelecanus crispus. Several other A1 species have been recorded but current information does not currently justify them being proposed: Aythya nyroca, Oxyura leucocephala, Anser erythropus, Marmaronetta angustirostris.
Criterion А4iii applies for the concentrations of waterfowl and waterbirds which number more than 20,000 on migration and in winter.