Sulukol Lake

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 3,091 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2012 favourable medium not assessed
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Site description (2007 baseline)
The lake is situated 60 km to the south-west of the district centre, Ahuliyekol, of Kostanai Region, and 3 km to the west of Diyevka village. 2 km to the south there is a section of the Kostanai- Druzhba motorway. Sulukol lake lies in a natural depression within a moderately undulating plain. The lake is an almost regular circle in shape, with a maximum diameter of 3.5 km and a minimum of 2.8 km; the shoreline is even. The waters of the lake are subject to natural hydrological fluctuations related to climatic conditions. The lake has a small rivulet entering it in the south-east but this freezes in winter. The volume of this stream in summer and autumn is limited to 0.3 m3/sec. Only during spring floods are the waters of this rivulet fresh, in mid-summer their salinity increases at least threefold. Through most of the year, the waters of the lake are brackish to moderately saline. The average depth is 2.5-3 m. Just to the east of the lake lies a small salty lake prone to drying out in dry years. Along the western and northern shores there are stretches of reed. There is a medium-sized, 40-50 year old pine plantation running horizontal to the northern shore, approximately 1-1.5 km in width. Two operational fishermen's dwelling quarters are positioned on the western shore.

Key biodiversity
The lake is known as a regular resting site for the large numbers of waterbirds (at least 50 species) migrating through Northern Kazakhstan. In periods of highest passage the number of birds on the lake can reach 80,000 birds. Species protected at the national or/and global level are Anser erythropus (more than 1% of the world population), Branta ruficollis, Oxyura leucocephala (also A4i) and Cygnus columbianus (1% of the Caspian Sea population). Anser anser and A. albifrons are common and numerous. On a regular basis the site is visited by approximately half of the known Kazakhstan population of Mergus serrator.

Non-bird biodiversity: The shores of the lake are inhabited by a few burrow-dwelling mammals: Meles meles, Vulpes vulpes, Vulpes corsac. There is also an isolated colony of Marmota bobak. The major components of water fringe vegetation are Phragmites and Scirpus sp. A few strips of land on the banks of the rivulet are covered by sparse thickets of Salix and Tamarix. A little way inland from the northern shore there is a small plantation of pines.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Sulukol Lake. Downloaded from on 02/12/2023.