The Aktash massif IBA is situated in nothern Tajikistan on the southern mountainside of the Kuraminskiy ridge on the border with the Republic of Uzbekistan, which forms the western, northern and eastern borders of the IBA.
The site is located at the head of the Aktash and Ashtsay rivers (tributaries of the Syrdarya river). Many streams, starting as springs, and snowfields located on the southern mountainside of the Kuraminskiy ridge inflow in these rivers.
Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: Schizothorax intermedius (native) and Cyprinus carpio (acclimatized).
Amphibia: Rana ridibunda, Bufo viridis.
Reptilia: Testudo horsfieldi, Gymnodactylus russowi, Agama sanguinolenta, Phrynocephalus felioscopus, Ophisaurus apodus, Ablepharus alaicus, Erix tataricus, Natrix tessellata, Coluber karelini, Coluber rhodorhachis, Coluber ravergieri, Elaphe dione, Vipera lebetina and others.
Mammals: Sus scrofa, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Citellus relictus, Hystrix leucura, Rattus turkestanicus, Ellobius tancrei.
Marmota menzbierii inhabited the Aktashskiy Zakaznik in the 1990s but has now disappeared from Tajikistan. It is included in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan.
Mountain forests formed by Juniperus zeravschanica and J. semiglobosa are located in the high mountain belt. Juniper forests consist largely of old trees. There is no regeneration due to overgrazing so the canopy is relatively open. In the mid-mountain belt Amygdalus bucharica, Amygdalus spinosissima, Rosa fedtschenkoana, Rosa maracandica, Rosa ecae, Rosa divina, Lonicera bracteolaris, Lonicera korolkowii, Lonicera nummulariifolia, Cotoneaster suavis, Cotoneaster nummularis, Cerasus verrucosa, Cerasus erythrocarpa and others grow. On the river floodplain Salix excelsa, Salix linearifolia, Populus tadshikistanica, Crataegus turkestanica and Crataegus fischeri can be found. The foothills are used for agriculture with orchards, vineyards, vegetable gardens and fields.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Overgrazing has a negative influence on the state of the soil, vegetation and fauna.
Part of the Aktashskiy zakaznik is tenanted by farmers for growing agricultural plants which is violation of the protection laws. Therefore it is necessary to terminate all agreements relating to exploitation.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Creation of the IBA and associated activities will promote the protection not only of the avifauna but also other groups of fauna and flora.
The Aktash Zakaznik is included in the IBA. This zakaznik was created for the conservation of Marmota menzbierii as it was the only place in Tajikistan where the species occurred. It has now disappeared from Tajikistan.
Habitat and land use
The environs of the Aktashskiy Zakaznik are used very intensively as pasture which has a negative influence on the state of the soil, vegetation and fauna.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Aktash massif. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 08/08/2022.