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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.
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).
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chardara Reservoir. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2019.