Khukh Lake

Country/territory: Mongolia

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

Area: 13,200 ha

Site description
Khukh Lake lies in the southwest of Ereentsav soum, Dornod aimag. The lake is fed by the Teel River, and has no outflow. The lake is surrounded by grassland steppe and low rolling hills. There are marshes with reed beds where the Teel River enters the lake. The main land uses at the site are hay collection and livestock grazing. The railway from Ereentsav to Choibalsan passes along the western side of the lake. Since the 1990s, commercial fishing has become widespread, with the bulk of the catch being exported to China. Uncontrolled and illegal fishing poses a serious threat to the fish diversity in Khukh Lake. Steppe fires occur almost every year and destroy vegetation surrounding the lake. Khukh Lake lies within Mongol Daguur Ramsar Site.

Key biodiversity
The following Globally Threatened species occur at the site in significant numbers: Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN); White-naped Crane Grus vipio (VU); Hooded Crane G. monacha (VU); Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU); and Relict Gull Larus relictus (VU). In addition, Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus (CR) is a regular passage migrant and summer visitor to this site. The site supports an assemblage of species restricted to the Eurasian steppe and desert biome. The following congregatory waterbirds occur in numbers exceeding 1% of their flyway populations: Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus; Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo; Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus; Swan Goose Anser cygnoides; Common Pochard Aythya ferina; Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo; and Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus.

Non-bird biodiversity: In winter, large herds of Mongolian Gazelle Procapra gutturosa can be seen in the area surrounding the lake. Also, Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and Corsac Fox V. corsac are frequently observed in the area. flora.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khukh Lake. Downloaded from on 03/10/2022.