The Bulgan River rises on the southern slopes of the Mongol Altai mountain range and flows into Ulungur Lake in China. The site comprises a section of the Bulgan River valley, where the river divides into numerous large and small streams creating islands and isolated water bodies. At the source of the river and in the valleys of its tributary rivers, there are a number of small lakes. The sides of the Bulgan River valley support desert-steppe vegetation, while good wet riparian habitat is found along the bottom of the valley. There are numerous bays, such as Tsagaan Ereg, Sanjiin Tohoi, Balar Tohoi and Elst Tohoi, with dense reed and shrub vegetation.
Bulgan River is an important stopover site for various migratory passerines, waterbirds and shorebirds. Globally Threatened species that regularly migrate through the site are Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN), Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (VU) and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (VU).
Non-bird biodiversity: A small population of Mongolian Beaver Castor fiber birulai exists along the Bulgan River. A hydroelectric dam in the Chinese section of Bulgan River may create a barrier to migration and cause habitat fragmentation along the river.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bulgan River. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2020.