Ecocenter “Jeiran” is situated 42 km to the SE of Bukhara town. It was created in 1977 for the breeding of rare species of animals and the study of their biology (Flint, 1982). It is managed by the State Committee for Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan. It consists of two areas. The first (5,145 ha) has protected status. It is enclosed by a wire fence 2 m high. According to count data from 2004, there are 899 Goitered Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), 37 kulans (Equus hemionus) and 29 Przewalski’s horses (Equus przewalskii). The landscapes of this area are varied with saltmarsh depression, plains of salt desert, sands, mountain foothills, Kaykasach mountain (332 m above sea level). There are 11 plant associations. The foraging resources fluctuate year by year and seasonally. Productivity can reach from 5 centner/ha to 75 centner/ha. The mountain is situated in the northern part. Four lakes with brackish water are situated in the southern part (Prisyazhnuk, 1986). They are partially fed by artesian wells and partially from the Amu-Bukhara Canal. The Limnadophilous complex is fully dependent on water level from the Amu-Bukhara Canal (Soldatova, 2003, 2004).
The second part isn’t enclosed and has an area of 18,350 ha. Land use includes co-ownership (19 farms, electric line, gas line, gypsum-pit) but cattle grazing is prohibited. However there are breaches of the regulations (cattle grazing, vegetation burning, hunting, off-road driving etc). The landscapes of the second are similar to those of the first. There are 10 shallow reservoirs and wells which attract birds and mammals.
The biodiversity of the Ecocenter includes: mammals – 31 species, birds – about 257 species, reptiles – 18 species, amphibians - 2 species, fishes - 8 species, invertebrates more than 50 species. Of them 4 species of mammals, about 23 species of birds, 2 species of reptiles, 2 species of fishes and around 6 species of invertebrates are included in International and National Red Data Books.
The ecocenter’s avifauna includes 257 species, 37% of all the avifauna of Uzbekistan. 63 species breed: 23 species are rare and 20 are in the Uzbekistan Red Data book (1983).
Rare species are: Marmaronetta angustirostris and Chlamуdotis undulata – breeding; Pelecanus onocrotalus, Pelecanus crispus, Pandion haliaetus, Aquila nipalensis, Circaetus gallicus, Falco peregrinus, Anthropoides virgo – regular on migration; 3 species – Haliaeetus albicilla, Aquila heliасa, Aquila chrysaetos wintering; 12 species – Platalea leucorodia, Ciconia nigra, Cygnus olor, Суgnus cygnus, Hieraaetus pennatus, Hieraaetus fasciatus, Falco cherrug, Otis tarda, Tetrax tetrax, Larus ichthyaetus, Pterocles alchata and Passer simplex occur occasionally. Rare migrants include: Podiceps nigricollis, Porzana pusilla, Charadrius leschenaultii, Larus сanus. Regular migrants include: Bucephala clangula, Mergus merganser, Porzana parva, Crex crex, Pluvialis squatarola, Pluvialis apricaria, Tringa erythropus, Xenus cinereus, Calidris alba, Limicola falcinellus, Gallinago media. Vagrants include: Limosa limosa, Stercorarius parasiticus, Larus fuscus, Streptopelia dесаосto, Apus affinis, Ficedula hypoleuca, Acanthis flammea (Mukhina, 2001).
There are three basic ornithological complexes:
Eremophilous complex – 72 species, 17 nesting;
Limnodophilous – 94 species, 25 nesting;
Sinantropic– 24 species, 14.
During 2000-2004 the eremophilous complex didn’t change, but there was a reduction in the number of nesting birds in both territories - Chlamуdotis undulata: in the first area there was a reduction in numbers due to an increase in the number of ungulates which caused disturbance during display and breeding. In the second area the reduction was the result of the destruction of eggs lying by shepherds' dogs and increases in disturbance during the reproductive period though the number of displaying males remained stable.
Rhodospiza obsoleta: formerly it nested colonially in large numbers in low trees (artificial plantings) and at low density in saxsaul forest (in total more than 200 nests). Nowadays it only occurs singly, the reasons for the decline are not known.
Limnodophilous complex – a reduction in the number of some species connected with the lake complex and coastal woodland (tugay) has been observed: Panurus biarmicus – the number of nesting birds has sharply reduced.
Podiceps ruficollis has ceased to nest.
Vanellochettusia leucura and Himantopus himantopus have ceased to nest.
Pandion haliaetus – no recent records.
Sinantropic– a sharp decrease in the number of Streptopelia senegalensis has been observed owing to displacement by turtle-doves.
Athene noctua - numbers have increased.
Non-bird biodiversity: Species listed in both International and National Red Data Books include 4 mammal species, 23 bird species, 2 reptile species, 2 fish species, and about 6 insect species.
Mammals - 35 species. Insectivores: Hemiechinus auritus, Erinaceus hupamelas, Crocidura suaveolens, Diplomesodon pulchellus are common but not numerous. Bats: Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus bocharicus are observed. Carnivores: Vulpes vulpes karagan, Vulpes corsac, Felis libyca – breed, but their numbers are reduced. Mustelids: Meles meles, Vormela peregusna, Mustela eversmanni are not numerous. Even-toed and odd-toed ungulates: Equus caballus przewalskii, Equus hemionus onager, Gazella subgutturosa - breed, stable numbers, trend of regular increases in number (Soldatova, 2003, 2004). There are also 4 individuals of Equus asinus at the site. There are scattered records of Sus scrofa. Lagomorphs and rodents: Lepus tolai, Myocastor coypus, Spermophilus fulvus, Spermophilopsis leptodactylus, Allactaga severtzovi, Allactaga elater, Paradipus ctenodactylus, Dipus sagitta, Mus musculus, Nesokia indica, Meriones meridianus, Meriones libycus, Rhombomys opimus, Cricetulus migratorius, Ondatra zibethicus, Ellobius tancrei (Tupikin, 2003; Rogovin, 2003; Ishunin, 1983).
Reptiles – 20 species: Agrionemys horsfieldi, Teratoscincus scincus, Crossobamon eversmanni, Cyrtopodion caspius, Cyrtopodion fedschenkoi, Trapelus sanquinolentus, Phrynocephalus interscapularis, Phrynocephalus helioscopus, Phrynocephalus ocellatus, Varanus griseus, Eremias grammica, Eremias lineolata, Eremias velox, Eryx milaris, Natrix tessellata, Coluber karelini, Coluber ravergieri, Spalerosophis diadema, Psammophis lineolatum (Karmanov, 2001), Lythorhynchus ridgewayi.
Amphibians – 2 species: Bufo viridis and Rana ridibunda.
Fishes – 8 species.
Invertebrates – more than 50 species.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
- Destruction of desert vegetation communities due to overgrazing by cattle;
- Disturbance during the reproductive periods of Chlamydotis undulata, Bubo bubo, Gazella subgutturosa ;
- Destruction of ground-nesting birds' eggs (Chlamydotis undulata, Bubo bubo) by shepherd's dogs;
- Epizootic diseases and infection of wild animals;
- Burning of vegetation around the reservoirs and the canal (destruction of habitat, eggs and direct mortality);
- Expansion of the network of earth roads;
- Soil contamination by gypsum as a result of irrigation;
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The first detailed descriptions were by Ishunin G.I. (1976) and Volozheninov N.N. (1978). Ornithological biodiversity research was carried out from 1977 to 2000 by Flint V.E., Sorokin A., Golovkin A.N., Grajdankin A., Ponomareva T., Sagitov A.A., Lukashevich R. and Mukhina E.A.
The description of vegetation, allocation of plant associations and the capacity of fodder resources of the area were done by Shenbrot G.I., Zlotin R.I. and Tishkov A.
The description of entomofauna was by Kochetkova N.I.
Population research of Equus caballus przewalskii, Equus hemionus onager and Gazella subgutturosa were carried out primarily by Flint V.E., Shadilov Yu. M. and Prisyajnuk V.E, but also by Pereladova O.B., Sempere A, Ballul K. Soldatov В.А, Soldatova O.V. and Soldatova N.V.
The Ecocenter «Jeiran» is a State institution. It was created in 1977 for the breeding of rare species of animal and the study of their biology (Flint, 1982). It is administered by the State Committee For Nature Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Habitat and land use
The first part of the ecocenter is completely removed from economic use.
The second area is used by joint land users: farms - pasture, ploughing, water use, soil contamination by gypsum owing to irrigation, production agriculture, burning of vegetation along the Аmu-Bukhara canal and lakes, and the expansion of the earth roads network.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dzheiran Ecocentre. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2022.