Irgiz-Turgay Lakes

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A3, A4i, A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 348,000 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2010 high unfavourable not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
A series of lakes in the southern part of the Turgay depression, including the rivers Irgyz, Turgay, Ulkayak which dry up in summer. The surrounding landscapes are northern deserts and semideserts with typical vegetation. The IBA is situated 70 km to the east of Irgyz town. The biggest lakes are Kyzylkol, Ayrkol, Sholakkol, Karmakkol, Maikol, Aidarkol and Aikol.

Key biodiversity
234 bird species, including more than 100 waterbird species, have been recorded. 30 species are included in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan. The area is on the Aral-Ishym section of the Siberian-Middle Asia flyway of waterbirds (2-3 million birds fly over in spring and autumn). The total number of waterbirds counted/estimated to be present in the IBA at one time is up to 250,000 individuals.

Non-bird biodiversity: About 10 species of valuable fishes. Game species of mammals: wild boar, saiga, ondatra.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Irgiz-Turgay Lakes. Downloaded from on 30/05/2023.