Country/territory: Turkmenistan

IBA criteria met: A1, A3 (2006)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 19,031 ha

IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2018 not assessed favourable not assessed
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Site description (baseline)
The area of the IBA is 19,031 hectares representing more than 6% of the area of the Central Kopetdag (279,100 hectares). The eastern border of the IBA is situated to the south of Gyaurs station on a channel of the small river Sherlok up to the settlement of Shamli at the foot of Zerakev mountain; it then turns west along the Tekenchengasy ridge to the settlement of Manysh and continues westwards to the settlement of Komarovskiy. The northern border bends around the Etimbair ridge (456m) and follows the road to Gyaurs.

Key biodiversity
The avifauna includes 170 species (15 orders, 38 families, 101 genus). The Orders Passeriformes (17 families, 53 genus, 99 species) and Falconiformes (2 families, 12 genus, 26 species) represent the largest number of species. Less numerous are the Orders Pelecaniformes, Cuculiformes, Caprimulgiformes, Upupiformes (1 family, 1 genus and 1 species). The different habitats of the IBA (semi-desert, tugai, stony-rocky etc.) support several characteristic communities of birds which represent the avifauna of the Central Kopetdag (Mishenko, 1986). Nesting is confirmed for 82 species (48.2% of the total). During migration (spring-autumn) and winter 85 species have been recorded - 50% of the total (Efimenko 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2005). The site supports several nesting species on the IUCN Red List (2004): Falco cherrug, Falco naumanni and also the species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999): Ciconia nigra, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco peregrinus, Falco cherrug, Falco naumanni and Bubo bubo. The A1 criterion applies for these species. On migration: Aquila heliaca, Buteo buteo, Aegypius monachus, Aquila clanga, Branta ruficollis, Crex crex, Columba eversmanni, Hieraaetus fasciatus and Gypaetus barbatus occur and are also listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999). The A3 criterion applies for species of the Irano-Turanian mountains (Biome CA06): Ammoperdix griseogularis, Oenanthe finschii, Oenanthe picata, Oenanthe xanthoprymna, Emberiza buchanani, Irania gutturalis and Sitta tephronota. Nesting species (Biome 04b): Columba eversmanni, Ammomanes deserti, Hippolais rama, Scotocerca inquieta, Rhodospiza obsoleta, Emberiza bruniceps and Sylvia nana. Migration and passage species include: Aquila nipalensis, Falco vespertinus, Anthus spinoletta and Phoenicurus erythronota.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals are represented by more than 24 species (Zykov, Korshunov, 1986; Mammals of Turkmenistan, 1995). Hyaena hyaena, Panthera pardus, Ovis vignei and Capra aegagrus are listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999). Amphibians and reptiles consist of 22 species including: Bufo viridis turanensis and Bufo danatensis, Rana ridibunda (Amphibians), Agrionemys horsfieldi, Gymnodactylus caspius, Trapelus sanguinolenta, Mabuya aurata, Varanus griseus, Eumeces schneideri, Ophisaurus apodus, Eremias velox, Eumeces taeniolatus (Reptiles), Typhlops vermicularis, Eryx miliaris, Eirenis persicus, Coluber rhodorhachis, Coluber ravergieri , Naja oxiana, Vipera lebetina, Oligodon taeniolatus, Psammophis sehokari and Psammophis lineolatum (snakes). The flora of Gurykhoudan includes 616 species (441 genus and 88 families). Almost 86.5% of the flora is more or less regularly distributed throughout the area (Kamahina, 2005). Specific features of the region include the local endemics: Leymus nikitinii, Popoviolimon turcomanica, Colutea atabaejevii, Paracaryum crista-galli, Jurinea kultiassowii and Centaurea androssowii.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Gurykhovudan. Downloaded from on 10/06/2023.