KZ067
Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands


Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3 (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 49,690 ha

Protection status:

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)
2007 high unfavourable not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
The site is situated on the north-western outskirts of the Betpak-Dala desert region, 100 km north-north-east of the district centre of Zhezkazgan. The landscape is a combination of rough, eroded clayey plains and sands. The area includes the western fringe of the sand dunes of the Karakoiyn and Zhetikonyr sand massifs extending in a latitudinal direction from an area of alkali soil depressions at the foot of the moderately high Betpak-Dala plateau escarpment to the region enclosed by a large bend of the Sary-Su river. The area represents the distinct frontier zone of prolific sands and clayey semi-desert plain and the narrow strand of alkaline land covered with a patchwork of Lasiagrostis splendens, supportinging on its verges a belt of sparse Elaeagnus and Haloxylon forest.

Key biodiversity
The area’s main importance is the high breeding population of Aquila heliaca. During the mid-April 2007 survey, 10 nests were found and it is estimated that the total population is 15-18 pairs. One extensive area of wetland in the northern part of the site held 2 pairs of Circus macrourus but total numbers for the site are unknown. Beside one derelict cattle farm building 6 pairs of Falco naumanni were found breeding. Buteo rufinus is present, but the overall numbers are thought to be low (<3 pairs - only one nest found and one additional bird seen). At the edge of the sands a pair of Tetrax tetrax was seen once. In the heart of the sand massifs there are large coveys of Perdix perdix.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western edge of the Karakoyin and Zhetikonyr Sands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2019.