The IBA is located on the right bank of the Amudarya river and includes the adjoining desert (to the south) and lakes of the Farab collector.
The avifauna of the Nargyz IBA includes 247 species (45.9% of the avifauna of Central Asia), of these 105 species breed. The IBA is situated on a major migratory flyway. Passerines are most numerous (102 species), birds of prey (28), Anatidae (23), waders (21). In total 81 species of waterbird have been recorded.
Resident, passage or wintering species listed on the IUCN Red List and the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan are: Pelecanus onocrotalus and Pelecanus crispus, Platelea leucorodia, Ciconia nigra, Marmaronetta angustirostris, Aythya nyroca, Pandion haliaetus, Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Aquila heliaca, Aquila chrysaetos, Aegypius monachus, Circaetus gallicus, Circus macrourus, Falco naumanni, Falco cherrug, Falco peregrinus, Porphyrio porphyrio, Grus virgo, Tetrax tetrax, Chlamydotis undulata, Otis tarda, Burhinus oedicnemus, Bubo bubo, Coracias garrulus and Anser cygnoides.
The number of Haliaeetus leucoryphus recorded is below the threshold for criterion A1 and many of the other globally threatened species have either not been recorded in recent years or are very rare. For criterion A3 species, there is not enough data to estimate their numbers on the IBA. Criterion A4i applies for several species, and the site is also important for the migration of waterfowl and water birds, birds of prey and passerines.
Non-bird biodiversity: The majority of the IBA consists of plain-desert ecosystems, with some smaller wetland ecosystems. In the IBA 227 species of higher vascular plants have been recorded.
The flora of the tugai is relatively poor, with 86 species of plants of which 15 species are dominant - Populus pruinosa and P. euphratica, Elaeagnus turcomanica, Salix songarica, Tamarix, Halimodendron halodendron, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Phragmites australis, Erianthus ravennae, Trachomitum scabrum, and Aeluropus littoralis. There are specific varieties of Poaceae, Asteraceae and Tamarix. The tugai forests at Michurinskiy, Kenderli and Boyanly are 40-60 years old.
80 species of spider have been recorded. Among insects bugs and butterflies are the most studied.
43 species of fish inhabit the waters of the Amudarya river, channels and collectors, including species listed in the Red Data Book of Turkmenistan (1999).
Amphibians – 2 species. Reptiles - 29 species, basically living in the desert areas.
Mammals - 42 species, of which insectivores - 4 species, chiropterans - 5 species, lagomorphs - 1 species, rodents - 17 species, predators -12 species and ungulates - 3 species.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Anthropogenic pressures are overgrazing, illegal hunting and firewood collection.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
There are two recent projects concerned with the problems of this region:
- 2003-2006 - Project GEF-UNEP-WWF « Projecting ECONET for long-term biodiversity protection » (WWF - the executive organization, the partner - the Ministry of Nature Protection)
- 2003-2005 - Project UNDP « Improvement of protected areas system in Turkmenistan (ECONET) » (the executive organization - the Ministry of Nature Protection).
The Amudarya state reserve (established in 1982 covering 49,514 ha) consists of three areas in the middle course of the Amudarya River in which the valley flood plain tugai, ridge-hillocks and barchan sands, and salt pans of the Turan lowland are well represented. The territory of the reserve includes part of the Amudarya River.
Habitat and land use
The IBA includes the Nargyz (46,100 hectares) and Gabakly (1,200 hectares) parts of Amudarya state reserve and adjoining areas of desert and the valley of the Amudarya. An insignificant part of the site (500 hectares) is occupied by arable lands on which are grown cotton, wheat, rice. The IBA joins a water area of the Amudarya river - 4,170 hectares and tugai forest - 7,600 hectares. The left and right bank parts contain areas of stony and clay desert (4,100 hectares).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nargyz. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2022.