Site description (2007 baseline):

Site location and context
This IBA is situated 70 km to the west of Uchkuduk in the western part of the Kyzylkum desert (Uzbekistan part). Settlements contain 10 – 1,000 inhabitants and wells are the main sources of water. There are some stretches of hilly and ridge sands with hollows, fixed by bushes and herbs. The height of these hills and ridges is 2-10 m, the depth of hollows is 1-5m. Soils are sandy, clay sandy, brackish, rocky and stony. In the central part of IBA there are some small temporary, often dry, waterbodies, which get water from artesian wells or precipitation. The vegetation is poor, desert or semi-desert type. There are bushes of Halaxylon persicum, Ammodendron connollyi, Calligonum eriopodum, C. arborescens, Carex physodes and Poa bulbosa in the sandy desert. Artemisia sp. and Salsola sp. are common on the semi-desert plain. The climate is continental with a high variation in seasonal and daily temperatures, low precipitation (200mm per year on average) and great aridity in summer.

Key biodiversity
The area in general is poorly known. Sporadic observations have been conducted by officers of the Uzbek antiplague station and the State Committee on Nature Protection. Publications are fragmentary, and there are no publications about IBA itself. For analysis of the fauna and number of breeding birds of biome CA04b several printed sources, mostly G.P. Tretyakov's observations in the area in 1977-1993 and personal observations of A.Filatov in 1994-2001, were used. 36 species of 51 recorded as nesting in the Kyzylkum desert were recorded in the IBA during fieldwork in 2007. Nesting by Passer simplex was recorded in 1980. The IBA is habitat for 12 species of the Central Asian desert and semidesert biome.

Non-bird biodiversity: There is a typical desert fauna. Reptiles - Varanus griseus, Agrionemis horsfieldi, Trapelus sanguinolentus and Phrynocephalus interscapularis. Mammals - Rhombomis opimus, Meriones meridianus, Spermophilopsis leptodactylus, some species of Alactagidae and Dipodidae, Lepus tolai, Vulpes vulpes caragan, Vulpes corsac, Felis libyca and Gazella subgutturosa (stable numbers, though subject to light hunting). Animals included in the national Red Data Book are Alsophylax laevis, Varanus griseus, Testudo horsfieldi, Gazella subgutturosa, and plants Tulipa buhseana.

Habitat and land use
This area is remote from settlements. The ridge-sand dune is well-preserved with good vegetation cover. The area is used as pasture for small numbers of cattle. Anthropogenic pressure is low and restricted to the proximity of settlements and sheep handling facilities.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Supposed threats are: development of railway construction infrastructure and possible mineral extraction.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Special studies have not been made. As the IBA is one of the few well-preserved desert areas and the rare habitat of numerous biome species, it should be established as a protected area (zakaznik).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Buzaubay. Downloaded from on 03/12/2023.