The IBA is situated in the north-eastern part of Uzbekistan. It is located on the north-western mountainside of the Kuroma range between Naugarzansay in the south-west to the upper Abdjazsay and includes the left bank of the Ahangaran river and adjacent mountains. There are forest and alpine belts. Mountain forests are represented by sparse juniper, long-boled juniper and nut-bearing trees. The alpine belt includes mountain steppe and rocks. There is one small settlement, Lashkirek, in which there is only one road along the mountain river. There are orchards and vegetable gardens around the homesteads. There are no crop fields and the adjacent land is used as pasture.
The border of the IBA is the watershed of the Kuroma ridge which is also the state border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The area is little studied. There is fragmentary information in monographs by I. A. Abdusalyamov (1971, 1973, 1977). 75 species of birds were recorded in April 2003 (V. Kovshar, 2004, 2004a; Mitropolsky, 2005). Summer excursions in 2000 revealed the presence of large numbers of birds of prey (Falco cherrug, Aegypius monachus, Buteo rufinus and especially Gyps fulvus) in the upper Abdjazsay. These species and other birds of prey are widespread in the IBA and probably nest. 102 species have been recorded during the breeding season. An expedition in 2007 concentrated on the juniper belt. At this time the alpine zone was closed by border guards so the alpine meadows and higher watershed and rocks with snowfields were not studied. Therefore the species of this habitat are under-represented.
Non-bird biodiversity: Typical reptiles are Natrix tesellata, Coluber ravirgieri and Ablepharus pannonicus; two species of amphibian (Rana ridibunda and Bufo viridis). Mammals include Spermophilus relictus, Lepus tolai, Hystrix indica, Vulpes vulpes, Canis lupus, Meles meles, Sus scrofa and Capreolus pygargus.
The bat Otonycteris hemprichi occurs and is included in the Red Data Book of Uzbekistan. Also included are Ursus arctos isabellinus, which according to conversations with foresters can sometimes be found here, and the rare butterfly Papilio alexanor.
The vegetation is represented by mixed nut-bearing forests (Juglans regia, Malus orientalis, Prunus sogdiana, Crataegus sanguinea, Padus maholeb), flood-plain forests (Salix blakkii, Populus uzbekistanika, Crataegus sanguinea, Prunus sogdiana and others), long-boled and open juniper forests, and areas of mountain steppe and slopes partly covered by bushes of mountain cherry. There are luxuriant miscellaneous herbs in the mountain steppe zone. National Red Book endemics of the Western Tyan-Shan include Hedisarum angrenicum, Oxytropis fedtschenkoana and Allochrusa gypsiphyllaceae (Leguminozae); Ferula juniperina (Ambelliferae); Salia tianshanica (Labiatae); Allium pskemense, А.praemixtum, А.stipitatum, Crocus alatavicus, Tulipa dasystemon, T.kaufmaniana, T.korolkovii, T.bifloriformis, T.dubia, T.turkestanica, Eremurus korovinii (Liliaceae); Adonis lejosepala and Paconia hybrida (Ranunculaceae); Corydalis sewerzowii (Papaveraceae); and Cousinia angreni (Compositae).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main anthropogenic threats are deforestation and overgrazing.
The main natural threat is destruction of floodland forests by flooding.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Short-term survey of Saratashsay, Gushsay and Loshkireksay in 2003 as part of the GEF transboundary project “Concervation of Western Tyan-Shan biodiversity” (Kovshar, 2004).
Habitat and land use
There are long-boled juniper forests, mixed nut-bearing forests, open juniper forests, alpine meadows and rocks. Intra-zonal habitats are flood-plain forest, mountain streams and rocks.
A large part of the IBA belongs to Ahangaran forestry (all forest zones). The majority of the forestry is used for pasture and there is haymaking on the steppe slopes. Recreational use is minor and localized, with summer recreation areas in Abdjazsay. There is a long-established camp for field training of students of the Tashkent agricultural academy.
All of the IBA is situated near the state border and is protected by border guards. Uncontrolled access to the area by local people is limited, grazing is limited mainly to the juniper forest zones and upper mountain belts.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Central section of the Kurama Mountain Range. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 23/01/2020.