Ayark Kol and alpine grassland

Country/territory: China (mainland)

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 125,000 ha

Site description
Located 190 km south of Ruoqiang (Qarkilik) County and 750 km south of Urumqi. The IBA lies at the edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and is a large salt lake adjacent to the Altun Shan and Kunlun Shan mountains. The area of the lake ranges from 51,000 to 65,400 ha, and it is fed by snowmelt and glaciers. The highest peak in the area is named Muztag (6,973 m). The freshwater Yixiekepati Hu lake in the eastern part of the IBA has extensive marshes, and is an important area for both wildlife and people.

Key biodiversity

Non-bird biodiversity: Forty-nine mammal species have been recorded in the area, including Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Panthra uncia, Ursus arctos, Equus kiang, Ovis ammon, Marmota himalayana, Pantholops hodgsoni, and Bos mutus.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ayark Kol and alpine grassland. Downloaded from on 07/10/2022.