Aksuat Lake

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 4,589 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2015 not assessed very unfavourable not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
Aksuat lake lies in the centre of a group of scattered waterbodies located on the left bank of the upper middle section of the Ishym river valley. Administratively, the site is located in the western corner of the Northern Kazakhstan region, very close to the inter-regional border. The lake is situated 260 km to the south-west of the regional centre of Petropavlovsk and 5 km to the south-east of the district centre Timiryazevo. Aksuat lake is a rather shallow, brackish, elongated waterbody, 7.3 km in length and 3.8 km in width. It is largely open water bordered by a narrow belt of reeds. The lake is dependent on the intake of seasonal melt water floods and, together with several associated waterbodies in the area, undergoes cyclic filling up. The shores are gently sloping, with areas of marsh along many parts of the western and eastern shoreline. In all areas fragments of variably transformed steppe vegetation abut the lake with, along the shore itself, a narrow lush belt of vegetation dominated by Salsola.

Key biodiversity
The lake supports almost the entire spectrum of avian species attributed to either steppe-or forest-related avifaunas. Aksuat lake supports large concentrations of waterbirds for the following reasons: the large size of the waterbody provides safe roosting areas for waterfowl and shorebirds; the eutrophic water, together with the nearby grain fields, provides ample feeding for many species of ducks, geese and cranes; and, in comparison with many other sites in the area, is little disturbed. In years of heavy waterbird passage, up to 100,000 birds can use the site.

Non-bird biodiversity: Of mammals the most numerous in the wetland is Ondatra zibethica. A slowly declining population of Marmota bobak occurs in scattered parts of the adjacent steppe. Arvicola terrestris is commonly encountered. Occasional mustelids are represented by Mustela nivalis, Mustela erminea, Mustela eversmanni, Meles meles and Mustela sibirica. Larger predators consist of Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Vulpes corsac and Nyctereutes procyonoides. The dominant component of the shore vegetation is Phragmites australis. It occurs together with Typha angustifolia and Scirpus lacustris. In the muddy shallows many areas are dominated by Carex interspersed with Butomus umbellatus. On the outskirts of the lake a few plots of intact steppe still remain with an assortment of rich herbage-motley-turf-grass associations.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Aksuat Lake. Downloaded from on 05/06/2023.