The IBA is a steppe lake 60 km to the north-west of the town of Karkaralinsk, 15 km to the north-east of the railway station of “Novy Put” (Karkaraly district), and 11 km to the west of Karasor Lake (a neighbouring IBA). The local name of the site is Baikazan. The IBA is a shallow, salty, closed waterbody of almost regular circular configuration, about 4 km in diameter, with a depth of 3-5 m, set in a typically hilly landscape. Fish are absent. A rather narrow belt of reeds runs along the shoreline. Two riverbeds, turning in summer into dried up channels, enter the lake. The most common soils are loam and rubble-loam; the hillsides are dotted with rock outcrops. Typical steppe and semi-desert faunal communities occur on the surrounding areas giving way to wetland communities in the shoreline depressions and riverbeds. Stipa, Festuca and Artemisia sps. form the predominant vegetation. Patches of Asiagrostis splendens and Karagana, frequently 1 m tall, and, in the hills, Spirea sp. are not uncommon.
The typical assemblage of steppe and shorebird species.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Grazing is moderate, hunting is controlled. Biotope conditions look perfect, and the area under 'protection' is substantial.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Habitat and land use
Two km to the south of the IBA lies a complex of crop fields. Grazing is intermittent. The site is incorporated into an area under the control of the Karaganda Society of Hunters and Fishermen (hunting area).
Mixed state and private (farmers own a minor part).
Daniel Masur and Kati Sevke (Greifswald University, Germany) participated in the survey in September 2006 and provided the account data.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Saumalkol Lake. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/01/2022.