Lesser Aral Sea

IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2005

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC passage 2005 3,000-5,000 individuals A4i
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna LC breeding 2005 500-1,000 individuals A4i
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea LC breeding 2005 400-600 individuals A4i
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina LC passage 2005 3,000-4,000 individuals A4i
Common Pochard Aythya ferina VU passage 2005 10,000-30,000 individuals A4i
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca NT breeding 2005 40-100 individuals A1
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula LC passage 2005 8,000-20,000 individuals A4i
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC passage 2005 8,000-20,000 individuals A4i
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena LC passage 2005 300-600 individuals A4i
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus LC passage 2005 300-1,000 individuals A4i
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis LC passage 2005 300-1,000 individuals A4i
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea LC breeding 2005 500-1,500 individuals A4i
Great White Egret Ardea alba LC breeding 2005 200-300 individuals A4i
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus NT breeding 2005 50-100 individuals A1
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus LC breeding 2005 150-300 individuals A4i
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo LC passage 2005 1,500-3,000 individuals A4i
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta LC breeding 2005 400-600 individuals A4i
Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus LC breeding 2005 400-1,000 individuals A4i
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius LC breeding 2005 400-1,000 individuals A4i
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus LC breeding 2005 1,000-2,000 individuals A4i
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus LC passage 2005 10,000-20,000 individuals A4i
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni NT breeding 2005 100-200 individuals A1
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei LC passage 2005 1,500-2,000 individuals A4i
Common Tern Sterna hirundo LC breeding 2005 1,000-1,500 individuals A4i
Common Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica LC breeding 2005 300-500 individuals A4i
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni LC breeding 2005 100-200 individuals A1
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug EN resident 2005 6-10 individuals A1
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a passage 2005 50,000-99,999 individuals A4iii

Note: This table presents the IBA criteria triggered and the species that triggered then at the time of assessment, the current IUCN Red List category may vary from that which was in place at that time.

For more information about the IBA assessment process and criteria please click here

IBA Monitoring

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2017 low near favourable medium
Was the whole site covered? Yes State assessed by Habitat
Accuracy of information good

Threats to the site (pressure)
Threat Level 1 Threat Level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Condition of habitat (state)
Habitat Habitat Detail Reference Area (ha) Actual Area (ha) % of habitat remaining % of carrying capacity (overall) Result
Marine Coastal/Supratidal 0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams 0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish & salt water 0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Wetlands (inland) Water-fringe vegetation 0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Cygnus olor Mute Swan 2 12 individuals 100 favourable
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 20 2 individuals 10 very unfavourable
Tadorna ferruginea Ruddy Shelduck 2 6 individuals 100 favourable
Netta rufina Red-crested Pochard 375 42 individuals 12 very unfavourable
Spatula querquedula Garganey 12 6 individuals 50 unfavourable
Spatula clypeata Northern Shoveler 8 2 individuals 25 very unfavourable
Anas platyrhynchos Mallard 11 35 individuals 100 favourable
Podiceps grisegena Red-necked Grebe 600 4 individuals 1 very unfavourable
Podiceps cristatus Great Crested Grebe 10 2 individuals 20 very unfavourable
Phoenicopterus roseus Greater Flamingo 200 60 individuals 30 very unfavourable
Syrrhaptes paradoxus Pallas's Sandgrouse 1 4 individuals 100 favourable
Pterocles orientalis Black-bellied Sandgrouse 1 6 individuals 100 favourable
Fulica atra Common Coot 782 623 individuals 80 near favourable
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron 9 1 individuals 12 very unfavourable
Ardea alba Great White Egret 34 8 individuals 24 very unfavourable
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 70 320 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius phaeopus Whimbrel 17 1 individuals 6 very unfavourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 2 23 individuals 100 favourable
Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull 600 11 individuals 2 very unfavourable
Larus canus Mew Gull 13 8 individuals 62 unfavourable
Larus cachinnans Caspian Gull 98 24 individuals 25 very unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 38 18 individuals 48 unfavourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 85 15 individuals 18 very unfavourable
Aquila nipalensis Steppe Eagle 1 1 individuals 100 favourable
Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 19 4 individuals 22 very unfavourable
Haliaeetus albicilla White-tailed Sea-eagle 1 1 individuals 100 favourable
Merops persicus Blue-cheeked Bee-eater 29 21 individuals 73 near favourable
Lanius excubitor Great Grey Shrike 1 2 individuals 100 favourable
Pica pica Eurasian Magpie 1 3 individuals 100 favourable
Corvus corone Carrion Crow 72 32 individuals 45 unfavourable
Alaudala rufescens Lesser Short-toed Lark 93 16 individuals 18 very unfavourable
Melanocorypha yeltoniensis Black Lark 1 30 individuals 100 favourable
Panurus biarmicus Bearded Reedling 1 1 individuals 100 favourable
Oenanthe oenanthe Northern Wheatear 2 23 individuals 100 favourable
Motacilla alba White Wagtail 27 6 individuals 23 very unfavourable

Conservation actions taken at site (response)
Conservation Designation Management Planning Conservation Action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

IBA Protection

Protected Area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)
Lesser Aral Sea and Delta of the Syrdarya River Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 330,000 protected area overlaps with site 0


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Rivers & streams, Water-fringe vegetation, Standing brackish & salt water -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
water management -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lesser Aral Sea. Downloaded from on 05/07/2022.