|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
|Year of assessment||Threat score (pressure)||Condition score (state)||Action score (response)|
|2017||very high||very unfavourable||high|
|For more information about IBA monitoring please click here|
The lake is situated in a large hollow amid a system of low hills, 30 km to the west of the settlement of Egyndybulak in Karkaraly district. The dimensions of the lake are 6.5 x 6.5 km (4,200 ha), while the entire IBA is about 8 x 12 km (9,500 ha). Four rivulets drain into the system. In the south-east there are patches of ploughed arable land closely following the coastal parts of the lake (within 500 m of the shoreline) but not within the proposed boundary of the IBA. In the north-west vast areas of flood meadows cover about 1,300 ha (approximately 14% of the site). The terrain is an undulated plain with smooth ridges of hills. The relative heights of the ridges or hills are 10-30 m, sometimes 50 m. The hills tend to have flat tops and are gently sloping. Soils are clay, loam, rubble-loam and aeolian. The valleys of nearby streams are cut by multiple ravines. Part of the depressions amid the hills are occupied by salt pans. The inland areas of the site have typical steppe and semi-desert vegetation, with meadows bordering the banks of the lake and rivulets. The most common species of flora are Stipa sp., Festuca sp., Artemisia sp. and others. At some spots there are relatively dense patches of Lasiagrostis splendens and Caragana sp. occasionally growing to 1 m in height. The beds of the rivulets support small streams for only 2-3 months of the year, in spring and early summer. At other times they are reduced to chains of small ponds with an average depth of about 0.5m. The bottom of the rivulets varies from muddy to pebbly or sandy, and the banks are generally gently sloping. Owing to the shallowness and variations in the bottom substrate, the reed growth of the lake has a patchwork appearance, with open expanses of water and numerous spits of reed.
The IBA supports a complex of steppe and water birds.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Balyktykol Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2020.