Kyzylkol Lake

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 4,160 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2017 very unfavourable not assessed medium
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
The lake is situated 5 km to the south west of Kumkent village, in semi-desert landscapes and is the most western of the lake system in the northern foothills of the Karatau mountains. It is a cap-form lake without an outflow. In the south east part, the small river Ushbas flows into the lake. There are also some underground sources (fresh-water or with low salinity). That is why there are some almost fresh-water areas within the otherwise generally high salinity lake. There are relatively high loess precipices along the western coast. In the northern part, there are swampy shallow plots, in the eastern part patches of Tamarix, Rosa, Lonicera etc. Where the scrub and semi-desert join, the area is surrounded by hills with stony semi-desert on the tops.

Key biodiversity
More that 170 bird species have been recorded at the lake during migration. The number of birds resting here is tens and even hundreds of thousands. For example, on 16.09.2004 more than 25,000 birds were recorded, and in October 2001 more than 143,000 were counted. The size of these flocks is affected by disturbance during the hunting season.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Kyzylkol Lake. Downloaded from on 11/12/2023.