The Khoton-Khorgon Lakes are located at the source of Khovd River in Tsengel soum. They comprise a series of freshwater lakes, of glacial origin, connected by the 3 km-long Sargaal Channel. The lakes are frozen from December until June. Although the lakes are rich in fish, no commercial fishing is practiced at the site. The main land use in the area surrounding the lakes is livestock grazing. The lakes are surrounded by the Mongol Altai mountain range, with extensive forests, snow fi elds and glaciers.
Two Globally Threatened species are found at the site: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus (VU) and Whitethroated Bushchat Saxicola insignis (VU). The site also supports bird communities characteristic of the Eurasian steppe and desert and Eurasian high montane biomes, as well as Mongolian Accentor Prunella koslowi, the restricted range species that defines the Mongolian Mountains Secondary Area. The site regularly supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of the following congregatory waterbird species: Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus.
Non-bird biodiversity: Several nationally threatened fish species listed in the Mongolian Red List of Fishes inhabit the Khoton- Khorgon lakes, including Lake Osman Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus, Small Osman O. humilis and Mongolian Grayling Thymallus revirostris.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khoton-Khorgon Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2021.