Site description (2007 baseline)
This site, which was nominated as a Ramsar Site in 2004, is located on the boundaries of Batshireet, Binder, Bayan-Adraga and Umnu- Delger soums of Khentii aimag. The site contains many small lakes important for birds, which concentrated in two river valleys. For this reason, the site is divided into “A” and “B” sectors. Sector “A” includes lakes in the Khurkh River valley, such as Binder, Duut, Khulst, Bayan and Bayan Burd, while Sector “B” includes lakes along the Khuiten River, such as Ikh Burd, Ulaan Toirom, Khulst, Tsagaan, Ulaan-Undur and Khuh. There are reed beds and willow groves in both sectors. The site is principally used for livestock grazing and hay making, with many small-scale farms growing wheat, barley and oats. The site also has potential for ecotourism development. Pressures on the site include unmanaged burning and expansion of agricultural areas, leading to soil erosion and degradation. These impacts are being compounded by the fact that the area is becoming drier, leading to changes in the vegetation.
Globally Threatened species occurring at the site comprise Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN), Lesser White-fronted Goose A. erythropus (VU), Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca (VU), Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus (CR), White-naped Crane G. vipio (VU), Hooded Crane G. monacha (VU), Red-crowned Crane G. japonensis (EN), Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN) and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). The site also supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Swan Goose Anser cygnoides, Bean Goose A. fabalis, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, White-naped Crane Grus vipio, Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo, Common Crane Grus grus, Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Black Stork Ciconia nigra and Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus.
Non-bird biodiversity: Mammal species seen commonly at the site include Red Fox Vulpes vulpes, Corsac Fox V. corsac, Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Siberian Marmot Marmota sibirica (EN) and Daurian Hedgehog Mesechinus dauuricus.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Valleys of Khurkh-Khuiten Rivers. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/valleys-of-khurkh-khuiten-rivers-iba-mongolia on 22/09/2023.