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The IBA is situated in the Shurabad district of Hatlonsoy region 80 km from the regional centre Kulyab, and 30 km to the south of the district centre Shurabad. The site is located in the south part of the Hazrati Shoh range an area with a complicated semi-mountain relief. There are three small mountain rivers. The valleys have diverse vegetation. The most important section of the IBA are the floodlands of the Pyandj river where waterbirds can be found in quantity. The tugay and other woody thickets and herbage attract dendrophilous species and the same vegetation occurs in the lower parts of the side gorges.
There are more than 113 species of birds on the IBA. Residents include Anas platyrhynchos, Mergus merganser, Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps himalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Alectoris chukar, Columba livia, Bubo bubo, Athene noctua, Dendrocopos leucopterus, Cinclus pallasii, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Corvus corax and Passer montanus. Nesting species include Falco naumanni, Falco tinnunculus, Columba palumbus, Streptopelia turtur, Streptopelia orientalis, Cuculus canorus, Asio otus, Apus apus, Upupa epops, Riparia rupestris, Delichon urbica, Luscinia megarhynchos, Monticola solitarius, Phoenicurus ochruros, Oenanthe oenanthe, Cettia cetti, Parus major, Oriolus oriolus, Lanius phoenicuroides, Lanius schach and Acridotheres tristis. Migrants include Ardea cinerea, Anas strepera, Anas crecca and Fulica atra. Rare species included in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan are Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps himalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos and Chaimarrornis leucocephala (all resident).
Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: Schizothorax intermedius, Varicorhinus heratensis, Glyptosternum reticulatum, Nemachilus pardalis and Nemachilus stoliczkai inhabit the Pyandj river basin and its tributaries. Amphibia are represented by Bufo viridis and Rana ridibunda. Reptilia: Agama lehmanni, Ablepharus brandti, Ophisaurus apodus, Natrix tesselata and Elaphe dione are the most common species. There is an isolated area of Agama caucasica's natural habitat in the zapovednik. Mammals include Capra falconeri, Ovis vignei bochariensis, Marmota caudatа, Rattus turkestanicus, Lepus tolai, Ellobius tancrei, Dryomus nitedula, Apodemus sylvaticus, Ursus arctos, Lynx lynx, Crocidura suaveolens, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, Rhinolophus hipposideros, Plecotus austriacus, Myotis oxyghathus, Сanis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Meles meles, Mustela nivalis, Lutra lutra, Martes foina, Uncia uncia and Capra sibirica. Vegetation is xerophytic. Desert-ephemeral vegetation is typical for the low-lying parts of the IBA. The main part of the IBA is situated at an altitude of 1,300-1,700 m in a zone of ephemeral vegetation, mainly dominated by Taeniatherum crinitum, Hordeum spontaneum and Hordeum bulbosum. According to G.T. Sidorenko (1961) Vulpia persica, Vulpia myuros and Bromus oxyodon occur; plus ephemerals such as Anemone bucharica, Ranunculus leptorrhynchus and Ranunculus tenuilobus. Juniperus seravschanica, and Juniperus sibirica with fragments of Betula turkestanica grow at altitudes between 1,700-2,500 m above sea level. The mesophytic Silene wallichiana, Ostrowskia magnifica, Poligonatum severtzovii and others can be found under the trees.
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dashtidjum. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/02/2018.