Western Issyk Kul Lake


Country/territory: Kyrgyzstan

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2010)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 2,700 ha

Protection status:

Kyrgyz Wildlife Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
The territory includes dry steppes and semi-deserts, part of Issyk-Kul lake, foothill- adyr areas. Vertical differentiations of relief, heterogeneity of soil conditions make vary landscapes of dry-steppes and stony-deserts. Territory is close to Balykchy city.

Key biodiversity
Criterion A1 is applied to the site because of Pallas’s sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxys), Saker falcon (Falko cherrug), and wintering species such as Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) and White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla).Criterion A4iii is applied because of high number of wintering waterfowl and waterbirds: Anseriformes, Podicipedidae, Laridae and waders during the passage. According to winter counts every year from 25 to 80 thousand individuals of 30 species winter here.Site hosts 267 bird species. Shallows and inlets are used by birds in winter time. Coot (Fulica atra) and Mallard breed here. IBA is wintering ground for Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), Gadwall, Garganey. During the mass passage are seen Northern Pintail, Common Teal and waders. Stony desert areas home of Pallas’s sandgrouse, Lesser short-toed lark, Oenanthe spec.. Foothill-adyr zone hosts Saker falcon, Golden eagle, Egyptian and other vultures.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals dominating in steppes areas are: European suslik, jerboa, vole, Tolai hare, as well as Long-eared hedgehog, predators’- wolf, fox, manul and weasel. Reptiles are presented with 2 species: Steppe runner and Multi-Ocellated Racerunner. Plants are ephedra, nitaria, Pine, Thermopsis genus and sea buckthorn. Lake Issyk-Kul hosts 28 species of fish and 8 of them are endemics such as Naked Osman, Balkhash Marinka and others


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western Issyk Kul Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/12/2018.