Akzhar Lakes

Year of compilation: 2006

Site description
The IBA covers two distinct terrestrial complexes: the undulated desert composed of stable dunes of compressed sands and the clayey valley in the lower reaches of the Talas river (in its most south-westerly part). The site lies within a range of gentle natural depressions and consists of an area of numerous small and average-sized waterbodies. Most of these lakes are fed by seepage from the main course of the Talas river but also by retention of water from significant spring floods and runoff. There are large changes in lake water levels over the course of the year. Shoreline reed growth is restricted to a small number of waterbodies. Most lakes have bare shores dotted, occasionally, with scattered patches of Tamarix sp. and, less frequently, Haloxylon sp. The land between the lakes consist of numerous sandy dunes or mounds, interspersed with alkaline patches with wet Festuca and Salsola dominant associations.

Key biodiversity
In addition to those species that qualify the site as an IBA, the fololowing species should also be mentioned either by virtue of their position in the Red Lists, or as they have the potential to reach IBA qualifying criteria: Egretta alba, Ardea cinerea, Anser anser, Cygnus olor, Anas strepera, Anas crecca, Anas platyrhynchos, Anas penelope and Netta rufina, Haliaeetus albicilla, Numenius arquata and Larus genei. Breeding by Marmaronetta angustirostris is suspected as the species has been encountered several times on passage at the nearby Kyzylkol Lake situated 40-50 km southeast of the IBA. Further investigation of breeding and migrating species and numbers is required.

Non-bird biodiversity: Sus scrofa, Canis areus, Vulpes vulpes, Meles meles, Lepus tolai.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Periodic and extensive burning of the reedbeds is a constant threat.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The area was proposed to be added to the List of Objects of State Nature Heritage Resources - Resolution of the Government of RK of September 28, 2006, # 416.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Akzhar Lakes. Downloaded from on 05/02/2023.