In addition to the main navigable Ural-Caspian Channel, the site includes all of the secondary branches of the Delta and the multiple canals, submerged reedbeds and alluvial banks between the branches.
More than 250 bird species occur in the area. The overall number of waterfowl is thought to exceed 20,000 but, at present, precise data are lacking.
Non-bird biodiversity: The most prominent components of the local fauna are wild boar (Sus scrofa), musk-rat (Ondatra zibethica) and Caspian seal (Phoca caspica).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Intensive fishing throughout the entire network of birds’ habitats creates substantial disturbance, especially on colonial breeding species.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
There is planning underway for establishing the “Akzhaiyk” Natural Preserve covering the terrestrial portion of the Delta and an adjacent area of the Caspian. Presumably the enhancement of the protection status of the site will benefit efforts to organise scientific surveys of the local wildlife on a more regular basis.
Overlaps with the State Reservation Zone "Northern Part of Caspian Sea".
Habitat and land use
The state-organized fishing activities are compounded by regular encroachments by illicit fish-harvesting companies which aggravates the impact on wildlife.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Delta of the Ural River. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/09/2020.