Semey Ormany (Semipalatinsk Forest)

Year of compilation: 2007

Site description
The site is situated at the northern margin of the Eastern Kazakhstan region, on the right bank of the Irtysh river, between the outskirts of the regional centre of Semipalatinsk extending south-easttowards the Russian border. The Semei Ormany forest consists of an extensive assemblage of pine forest belts and insular stands with an admixture of birch and aspen on the forest edges. The majority of the forest is on sandy soils. A feature of the area is the array of scattered waterbodies. The woodland contains many areas previously ravaged by fires of varying severity.

Key biodiversity
The avifauna is typical of large pine forests with low numbers of individual species. During surveys in 2005-2006, 101 species were recorded, of which nine are national conservation concern and four of international concern. Typical species include Parus montanus, Dendrocopus major, Buteo buteo, Streptopelia turtur and Lyrurus tetrix.

Non-bird biodiversity: The majority of the forest consists of pines separated by glades and larger areas of steppe with abundant scrub and taller bushes. The edges of the large pine stands, as well as the the forest close to the Irtysh river flood valley, frequently incorporate stands of Willow, Poplar and various bushes including Bird cherry.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
During the last half century, the area was subject to regular fires which reduced the mature stands to scattered patches of forest separated either by recently burnt areas or areas of slow regrowth. This reduced the number of natural forest glades, most convenient for the nesting of raptors. In addition, forestry practices encouraged the removal of old, mature trees which were important nest sites for many species.

Protected areas
The site is identical to "Semei Ormany" State Forest Nature Reservation.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Semey Ormany (Semipalatinsk Forest). Downloaded from on 16/08/2022.