Garadashly - Ekerem

Country/territory: Turkmenistan

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 6,458 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2007 very high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The area covers a 1-2 km wide strip of low lying coast ranging in altitude from -26m to -10m at the frontier post of Gamyshly. The coast consists of a 50 to 100m wide sandy strip with hilly ridges of fixed sand and saltmarsh inland. Several vegetative communities occur varying with substrate and distance from the sea - tidally flooded wet saltmarshes; unflooded saltmarshes; saline shelly sands; semi-saline and shelly sands; semi-fixed hilly sand ridges; fixed sands. All areas are affected by fluctuations in sea level.

Key biodiversity
The avifauna includes not less than 280 species, of which 240 (86%) are passage-wintering birds, including 120 (43%) which are waterbirds. These represent 46 and 23% of the total avifauna of Central Asia respectively. Passeriformes ae the most common (96 species), followed by Haematopodidae (45), Anseriformes (28), Falconiformes (27) and Laridae (16). Most typical, only on migration, are coots and ducks (Netta rufina, Aythya ferina, Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya fuligula, Aythya marila, Anas penelope, etc.), plus waders, gulls and terns. The IBA is located on a major flyway along the east coast of the Caspian. In spring there is a high turnover rate of birds, with migration lasting from the middle of March to the end of April. In autumn the migration shows several peaks and extends from the end of August to the beginning and middle of November. The following species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999) have been recorded: Platalea leucorodia, Phoenicopterus roseus, Anthropoides virgo, Buteo buteo, Pandion haliaetus, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Falco peregrinus, Circaetus gallicus, Burhinus oedicnemus, and also the non-migratory Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug and Bubo bubo. The globally threatened Vanellus gregarius and Aquila heliaca have also been recorded. Criterion A4iii is applicable for 15-20 species which occur in winter and on migration. The following A1 species have been recorded but current data does not justify designating the site under this criterion - Oxyura leucocephala, Anser erythropus, Marmaronetta angustirostris and Aythya nyroca.

Non-bird biodiversity: The fauna includes 40 species of mammal, half of which are rodents (21 species), the others are predators (8), chiropterans (5), insectivores (4) and ungulates (2). Reptiles are represented by 30 species, the most significant are snakes Natrix natrix and Natrix tessellata and the Central Asian agama (Agama sanguinolenta). The flora includes more than 370 species of higher plants. The vegetation of the coast is represented by halophytic and salsolas communities. Some sandy areas have fixed vegetation, but this is rare with ephedra, a few species of Calligonum, Salsola richteri, and saxaul (Haloxylon persicum). Carex physodes together with sparse ephemerals also occurs rarely.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Garadashly - Ekerem. Downloaded from on 01/12/2021.