The IBA is situated 75 km from the province centre of Horog and 35 km from the district centre of Roshtkalya in the northern part of the Shugnanskiy ridge. It is a mountain valley which is elongated from south to north. The lower part of the Drumkul valley is located at an altitude of 2,900 m above sea level. Lake Drumkul is situated in this valley at 3,345 m. The lake is freshwater. Its length is 3.5 km, width 200-300 m and has a maximum depth of 45 m. The main body of the IBA is Drumkul lake which was created as the result of damming. The Dumdara River, which is a tributary of the Shohdara river, obtains its water from the glaciers of the Rushan ridge and is the main source for Drumkul lake. The entrance to the valley is wide as far as Drumkul lake and then becomes narrower and divides into 4 gorges which are adjacent to the Rushan ridge.
Submerged aquatic vegetation is diverse. Pondweeds are dominant.
Only one village, Sedje, is situated here. It has a population of more than 900 people.
The IBA is included in the Bokhara ornithogeographical district. 80 species have been recorded. Residents are: Anas platyrhynchos, Mergus merganser, Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps himalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Pyrrhocorax graculus, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Corvus corax, Montifringilla nivalis and others.
Breeding species: Tadorna ferruginea, Tringa totanus, Columba rupestris, Caprimulgus europaeus, Calandrella acutirostris, Riparia rupestris, Motacilla citreola, Motacilla alba, Prunella himalayna, Phoenicurus erythrogaster, Oenanthe isabellina, Carduelis flavirostris and many others.
Spring and autumn migrants: Ardea cinerea, Anas strepera, Anas crecca, Fulica atra, Upupa epops and others.
Rare species, included in the National Red Data Book, are Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps himalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug, Chaimarrornis leucocephala and Leptopoecile sophiae.
Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: only one species - Schizothorax intermedius - but is very numerous.
Amphibia are absent as a result of the bleak climate of the mountainous highlands.
Mammals: there is high diversity and endemism. Regularly observed Rodents are Marmota caudata, Mus musculus and Alticola argentatus. Leporidae are Lepus tolai and Ochonota roylei (Odinashoev,1987). In the western and northern parts of the IBA Capra sibirica occurs. Carnivora recorded are Uncia uncia, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Mustela nivalis and Mustela ermine.
The vegetation of the IBA is represented mainly by xerophytes as in other sites in mountain highlands and the common vegetation cover is desertic in character.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threat is soil erosion.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Geological information is contained in the publications of V.D.Nalivkin (1932). O.E.Agahanyants (1966) studied physical geography. R.L.Potapov (1966) and I.A.Abdusalyamov (1977) made a large contribution to the study of the zoogeographical peculiarities of Pamir. Data on the biology and ecology of plants and animals in Badakhshan is contained in the publications of Severtzov and Menzbier (1888, 1893), Sharpe (1891), Meklenbuetsev (1936, 1949), Ivanov (1940, 1969), Dementyev (1935) and Abdusalyamov ( 1961, 1964, 1971, 1973, 1977).
The IBA is adjacent to the Tajik National Park.
Habitat and land use
At present the ecosystems of the IBA are wholly satisfactory.
All of the IBA is used as pasture. The lower areas are also used as hayfields. Durumkul Lake has a high importance for fishing. The dominant species of fish is Schizothorax intermedius. Arable land comprises about 3.5 % of the territory. The road to Drumkul lake is only 7-8 km in length.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Drumkul Lake. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2023.