Chardara Reservoir

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

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

Area: 96,010 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2018 very unfavourable medium negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
The reservoir is situated in the most southern part of Kazakhstan, at the Syr-Darya river, 170 km from the regional centre, Shymkent city. The reservoir was created after dam construction. The northern bank is hilly, with ravines and clay soils (used mainly as a grazing area), the southern bank is flat, with sandy soils (agriculture area for cotton, corn etc.). The area is one of most populated regions of South Kazakhstan and is heavily used for agriculture. Water from the Chardara Reservoir is widely used for agriculture. There are intensive fisheries here, and (in autumn-winter) hunting. There are some resorts (hotels, camp sites). At the dam, there is a hydro-electric power-station. The reservoir is a place of mass wintering of tens of thousands of waterbirds.

Key biodiversity
The reservoir is a place of mass wintering of tens of thousands of water-birds. In first years after construction of the reservoir in 1968, more than 40,000 waterfowl wintered here (Auezov, 1972). During the last ten years, more than 100,000 waterbirds have wintered here, including globally threatened species. In December 2003- January 2004, 69 species were observed, including 30 waterbird species with a total number of about 180,000.

Non-bird biodiversity: About 20 species of fish, including Carassius auratus, Cyprinus carpio, Hypophtalmichtus molitrix, Ctenopharingodon ideilla, Ophiocephalus argus have been recorded. Mammals include Ondatra zibethica and Arvicola terrestris (aquatic)and Canis lupus, Canis aureus, Vulpes vulpes, Vulpes corsac, Meles meles and Lepus tolai (terrestrial).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Chardara Reservoir. Downloaded from on 21/02/2024.