The IBA includes Depmechay, the southern scarp of the Ustyurt plateau and the Kazaklyshor depression on the border with Kazakhstan.
The avifauna of the IBA includes 240 species, basically from the desert complex. Rare species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999) are: resident - Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug, Bubo bubo; passage - Aquila heliaca, Circus macrourus, Buteo buteo, Circaetus gallicus.
Criterion А1 applies for Falco cherrug. The following A1 species also occur but not at qualifying levels - Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Aquila heliaca, Circus macrourus, Falco naumanni.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals - more than 40 species, half from which are rodents (20 species), the others are predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4), ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species.
Flora includes about 450 species of higher plants. The vegetation of the depressions is represented by halophytes and salsolas. Fixed sand is represented by a few species of Calligonum and the rare Salsola richteri.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The ecosystems of the IBA are considered to be in a stable condition at present due to the remoteness of the site from populated areas. A potential threat is illegal hunting - trapping of Saker falcons and the taking of nestlings.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Work of zoologists of the Dashoguz antiplague stations studying the number of rodents (1960-1980).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Depmechay. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 27/10/2020.