South-west Gizzar Foothills

Country/territory: Uzbekistan

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iv (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 19,928 ha

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2007 medium not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA covers the vast foothills zone of the north-western base of the Baysuntau and Kugitang ridges of the western part of the Pamiro-Alay mountain system and consists of well-vegetated hills and small plains. This site is remote from large settlements, though there are a few cattle-breeders' huts, abandoned in winter. The site is a migratory bottleneck, especially for Grus virgo. There are many farm tracks, often impassable in spring because of rain, and vehicles are rare. There is a haymaking in May and June when the number of people increases considerably. There is a recent, progressive development of the foothills for dry crop cultivation which is reducing the amount of land available for cranes, but the majority of the area is still virgin land.

Key biodiversity
This site is important for spring migration when the high mountains to the east are still covered with snow. The list of migrants is about 240-250 species. Apart from Passeriformes, the only recorded breeding species are Falco naumanni, Circaetus gallicus, Aquila chrysaetos and Buteo rufinus (common). Griffon Vultures are resident. In years when Acridoidea breed in large numbers, Sturnus roseus breeds in huge numbers, with colonies of up to 10,000 pairs.

Non-bird biodiversity: The foothills are rich in wildlife in spring. There are many Agriocnemis horsfieldi and Ophisaurus apoda, and Naja naja and Vipera libetina are found regularly. Rodents: in some years there are very high numbers of Meriones lybica and Rhombomis opimus in the lower areas. Predators (Vulpes vulpes, V. corsac and Felis lybica) are common. Gazella subgutturosa used to be common but has now been exterminated.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-west Gizzar Foothills. Downloaded from on 18/08/2022.