Khomiin Tal

Country/territory: Mongolia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 35,600 ha

Site description
Khomiin Tal is a plain, surrounded by Khar and Durgun Lakes in the west, Zawkhan River and Teeliin River in the east and north, and by the great sand dunes of Mongol Els in the south. In the southern part of the site, there is the small Baga Lake, which is an important site for many breeding and migrating birds. At the centre of Khomiin Tal, desert and steppe vegetation dominates. However, there are reed beds along the shores of Khar and Durgun Lakes. In the northern part of the plain, along the Zavkhan River valley, there are wet grasslands and some reed beds. The extent of sand dunes is increasing in the area. Human habitation and livestock grazing are limited due to the harsh conditions, and past attempts at irrigated agriculture have failed. There has, however, been a small increase in people and livestock, and this is leading to degradation of pastures, destruction of nests along the lake shores, poaching and human disturbance. The IBA overlaps with Khar Us Lake National Park Ramsar Site.

Key biodiversity
The site is important for the following Globally Threatened species: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (VU); Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (VU); Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (VU); and Relict Gull Larus relictus (VU). Dalmatian Pelicans bred at the site in 1997 and 1998, and continue to occur each summer. Other species that occur at the site include White Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla and Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus. The site supports an assemblage of species restricted to the Eurasian steppe and desert biome. The site regularly supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of Dalmatian Pelican, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and Common Shelduck T. tadorna.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mongolian Gazelle Procapra gutturosa and Przewalski’s Wild Horse Equus przewalskii (CR) have been successfully introduced into the northern part of the site. Recently, a few herds of Saiga Saiga tatarica (CR) have been recorded.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khomiin Tal. Downloaded from on 07/10/2022.