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The lake is of flood type of feeding with unstable hydrological mode: at the high level of flooding it is fresh, at the low level – it is saltish. It is a place for stands, feeding and rest of anseriformes, rails, sandpipers and gulls during their migrations.
The area is located in the Torgai flexure; it is represented by a synclinal geological structure located between West Siberian and Turan plates, which are reflected by depressions in the contemporary relief. Conventionally it is bound to the following coordinates - 480-510 northern latitude and 610-66030' east longitude, and its square is 285,6 thousand km2.
The site refers to the group of the Central Kazakhstan ecoregion, to dry steppes, Pre-Ishim plain with the prevalence of arable lands at the sites of fescue-feather and xerophytic-forb-feather steppes, fescue and feather steppes along the rocky slopes of streamside hummocks; of willow thickets, meadows, reed and wetlands communities along the river valleys, as well as vegetation of solonetz and alkaline lands.
The area is hilly with the datum of 360—390 m.
Soils. A zone of dry steppes, light-chestnut coloured?? soils is distinguished on this territory. The soils are often saline that is typical for the zone of dry steppes. Chloride and sulphate salts of sodium and calcium prevail in the composition of salt complex
Climate. The area is located almost in the center of the Eurasian
continent. It is open from the sides of Artic and Central Asian deserts, and is
weakly bordered by the South Ural low mountains and the Kazakh hummocks from
the east. Such geographical situation of the region causes continental and dry
climate, long sunlight, permanent activity of wind and drastic fluctuations of
daily and yearly air temperatures. The most important climate-forming factors
are the predominating circulation of moderately humid air mass from the side of
The main factors are the direction of air movement and the intensity of solar radiation. They cause long-lasting winters with little snow, hot and dry summer, short-time springs and autumns.
The size of evaporation is 2-3 times higher than amount of atmospheric precipitation; the annual average amount of precipitation is 185 mm. Summer is hot – the average temperatures in July is 25оС, the absolute maximum is 42оС. Winter is severe – temperature in January is –16оС and lower, with the absolute minimum of 44-46оС. In general, a positive balance of temperature at +4,0оС is kept. The frostless period is 100-160 days.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Russkiy Zharkol. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/12/2021.