North-western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A4ii (2006)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 430,660 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2014 high favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
The IBA is located in the north-west part of the vast Ustyurt Plateau, 30 km north-east of Beyneu (Beyneu district) and consists of a limestone-gypsum desert plateau and neighbouring plains with steep cliffs (“chinks”) in the western and northern parts of the IBA. The IBA includes the Mynsualmasy plateau with cliffs up to 200 m in height, and parts of the Bogatay-Benike tract of piedmont stony desert and of the Aschyktaypak saltmarsh at lower altitude to the west. The surface of the plateau is slightly undulating clay northern desert with fragments of semidesert and saltmarsh. The vegetation is mainly Artemisia-Salsola associations and about 10% of the area is covered with sparse saxaul (Haloxylon) woodland. Of water sources, there are only several springs and wells, small streams run in the spring but dry out in summer.

Key biodiversity
A typical assemblage of desert species and a high density of breeding birds of prey.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: North-western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau. Downloaded from on 07/06/2023.