Site description (2007 baseline):

Site location and context
The Erajy Lakes IBA is situated in the Southeast Karakum, and is formed from the Main Turkmen collector-drainage waters. The IBA is located 110-115 km to the southwest of Turkmenabat city and to the northeast of Mary city. The IBA consists of alternating flooded depressions and raised areas of ridge-hilly sands.

Key biodiversity
The avifauna of the IBA includes 300 species, of which more than 100 are waterfowl and waterbirds. The IBA's wetlands, among the desert, provide favorable conditions for waterfowl and waterbirds, especially during migration and in winter. Criterion А4iii applies for the waterfowl and waterbirds which number more than 20,000 on migration and in winter. The following A1 species have been recorded but current data does not justfy designating the site under this criteria: Pelecanus crispus, Aythya nyroca, Oxyura leucocephala, Anser erythropus and Marmaronetta angustirostris.

Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: about 20 species, amphibians – 2 species, reptiles – 25 species and mammals about 30 species. Flora: coastal hydrophilic vegetation: Karelinia caspia, Phragmites australis, Salsola, Calligonum , Haloxylon persicum, H.aphyllum.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
There is a small amount of illegal hunting and fishing. Climate change, severe weather and natural system modifications.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity

Protected areas
The site was initially established - Erajynskiy zakaznik (Nature Sanctuary)- to protect an area of saxaul forest. However, since the 1990s, the area has been flooded and this designation is no longer applicable and therefore the site is effectively unprotected.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Erajy. Downloaded from on 02/10/2023.