Mogoltau massif

Country/territory: Tajikistan

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3 (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 26,767 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2007 very high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Mogoltau is a low mountain range 40 km long and 15-25 km wide, covering an area of approximately 350 square km, with the highest points reaching 1,600-1,620 m above sea level. The central and main high part of the massif is the Muzbek peak 1,624 m above sea level. The Mogoltau massif is a vast plain of rubble, pebble, gravel, boulders and loess-like loam cut by dry riverbeds formed by streams of spring (April) rains. The area has been exposed to man's impact for a long time and there are many settlements: Hujand, Uchbog, Chengalyk, Kichikayra, Katorbulok, Choruhdaron, Mirzorabat, Holbabulon and others. In general the Mogultau massif is a unique mountain range, bounded by cultivated lands, roads, settlements and towns. As an isolated 'island' it has preserved a unique avifauna which is different from the nearby Turkestanskiy and Kuraminskiy ranges and this forms the basis for the creation of the IBA.

Key biodiversity
The avifauna of the Mogoltau massif is very special. Residents - 23 species which form 22.1% of the total number of birds species of the IBA. These include: Gypaetus barbatus, Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus, Buteo rufinus, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco cherrug, Alectoris chukar, Columba livia, Streptopelia senegalensis, Dendrocopos leucopterus, Galerida cristata, Turdus merula, Parus bokharensis, Sitta tephronota, Tichodroma muraria, Pica pica, Corvus corone, Corvus corax, Acridotheres tristis, Passer montanus, Petronia petronia and Carduelis caniceps. Nesting species - 59 species (50.05% of the total avifauna). These include: Neophron percnopterus, Falco tinnunculus, Falco pelegrinoides, Falco peregrinus, Coturnix coturnix, Chlamydotis undulata, Burhinus oedicnemus, Glareola pratincola, Pterocles orientalis, Columba eversmanni, Streptopelia turtur, Streptopelia orientalis, Otus scops, Otus brucei, Athena noctua, Asio otus, Caprimulgus europaeus, Apus apus, Apus melba, Merops apiaster, Coracias garrulus, Upupa epops, Melanocorypha calandra, Melanocorypha bimaculata, Alauda arvensis, Riparia rupestris, Hirundo rustica, Delichon urbica, Anthus campestris, Anthus pratensis, Anthus spinoletta, Motacilla cinerea, Motacilla alba, Luscinia megarhynchos, Phoenicurus ochruros, Saxicola torquata, Saxicola caprata, Oenanthe isabellina, Oenanthe oenanthe, Oenanthe pleschanka, Oenanthe picata, Oenanthe finschii, Monticola saxatilis, Monticola solitarius, Acrocephalus dumetorum, Phylloscopus griseolus, Oriolus oriolus, Lanius phoenicuroides, Lanius schach, Lanius minor, Sturnus vulgaris, Sturnus roseus, Passer domesticus,Passer hispaniolensis, Serinus pusillus, Rhodopechys sanguinea, Emberiza stewarti and Emberiza bruniceps. In winter some Sturnus vulgaris also make movements from northern or mountain areas to Mogoltau. Wintering birds - 16 species (10.5% of the total avifauna). These include: Gyps himalayensis, Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter gentilis, Accipiter nisus, Tetrax tetrax, Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Turdus atrogularis, Corvus monedula, Corvus frugilegus, Corvus cornix, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Carduelis spinus, Caprodacus erythrinus and Caprodacus rhodochlamys. Falco cherrug sometimes visits from the Syrdarya river valley. Migrants - 13 species (10.2% of the total). These include: Milvus migrans, Circus macrourus, Circus pygargus, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Grus grus, Otis tarda, Himantopus himantopus, Charadrius dubius, Charadrius leschenaultii, Gallinago solitaria, Tringa hypoleucos and Luscinia svecica. Circus cyaneus is a vagrant. Globally threatened species occurring are: Aegypius monachus, Circus macrourus, Aquila heliaca, Falco naumanni, Falco vespertinus, Falco cherrug, Tetrax tetrax, Columba eversmanni and Coracias garrulus. Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, Gyps hymalayensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Otis tarda, Chlamydotis undulata and Burhinus oedicnemus are included in the Red Data Book of Tajikistan.

Non-bird biodiversity: Fish: Schizothorax intermedius can be found occasionally in large springs. Amphibia are represented by one species - Bufo viridis. Reptiles: Testudo horsfieldi, Teratoscincus scincus, Gymnodactylus russowi, Agama sanguinolenta, Agama lehmanni, Varanus griseus, Ophisaurus apodus, several species of Eremias, Ablephаrus brandti, Ablephаrus deserti and others. Snakes include Eryx tataricus, Coluber rhodorhachis, Coluber ravergieri, Taphrometopon lineolatum and Vipera lebetina. Vipera ursini has disappeared. Mammals include Sus scrofa, Canis lupus, Vulpes vulpes, Hyaena hyaena, Mustela nivalis, Hystrix leucura, Rattus turkestanicus and Ellobius tancrei. Insectivores and Chiropterans also occur. The Mogoltau mountains are poor in arboreal-bushy vegetation. There are only scattered bushes of Juniperus zeravschanica, Celtis caucasica, Crataegus turkestanica, Atraphaxis pyrifolia, Cotoneaster insignis, Cotoneaster nummularius, Rosa maracandica, Cerasus verrucosa, Cerasus erythrocarpa and Lonicera nummularifolia. Of herbaceous vegetation Poa bulbosa, Carex pachystylis and Taeniatherum crinitum dominate in the ephemeral-wormwood desert zone.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mogoltau massif. Downloaded from on 01/04/2023.