Western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2006)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 790,825 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2014 high near favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA covers the very western and most gentle “chink” (cliff) of the vast Ustyurt Plateau, extending to the Mertvyi Kultuk saltmarsh (Mangystau and Beyneu districts). The site consists of a limestone-gypsum desert plateau and neighbouring plains with steep cliffs. The surface of the plateau is slightly undulating clay northern desert with fragments of semidesert. The vegetation is mainly Artemisia-Salsola associations. Below is the vast Mertvyi Kultuk saltmarsh which is now under water and a sea bay created by the rising level of the Caspian Sea.

Key biodiversity
The IBA holds a complex of species of the northern desert, with a high density of raptors.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau. Downloaded from on 09/02/2023.