Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay

Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
The site consists of areas of inundated flatland with prolific reed growth. The mosaic of waterbodies (pools, large areas of open water, channels etc.) and reedbeds is typical for any large freshwater estuary. Several canals run seawards and are interspersed, in their turn, by channel-like connections. Terrestrial sections of the shore support stands of flood-forest consisting mainly of elms, prickly olives (oleasters) and poplars.

Key biodiversity
In this part of the Volga delta more than 250 bird species may be encountered. The overall number of migrating waterfowl significantly exceeds the 20,000 individuals criterion but precise supporting data is scarce. Several rare or threatened species occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: Common species include Sus scrofa, Phoca caspica, Ondatra zibethica, Felis chaus and others.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The most potent threat originates from the oil exploration and oil extraction industrial activities in the waters of the extensive Zhambay oil fields. The operational infrastructure of the industry encroaches on a fraction of the delta’s territory and are centres of disturbance for the fauna, as well as a potential source of water pollution.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
To date, ornithological research has been very limited.

Protected areas
The site contains Novinskiy Preserve (Zakaznik) and overlaps hugely with the territory of State Reseration "Northern Part of Caspian Sea".

Habitat and land use
Since reserve status alone cannot provide an absolute guarantee of balanced and discriminate fishing, there is expected to be a moderate amount of disturbance by poaching.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kazakhstan portion of the river Volga's Delta - Zhambay. Downloaded from on 04/10/2022.