Western Issyk Kul Lake

Year of compilation: 2006

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

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Agricultural intensification (B) and human disturbance (B)

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Site conservation work was done by staff of reserve. In 2000 it was created Biosphere territory Issyk-Kul. In October of 2001 Issyk-Kul got official recognition by UNESCO. In general, the IBA territory is great interest and there are good opportunities for further studies (researches).

Protected areas
Territory of Issyk-Kul reserve consists of 12 small sites surrounding the lake

Habitat and land use
At the moment ecosystems of IBA are satisfying, but there is overgrazing. Relatively in good conditions are wetlands, which host birds mainly during the winter.

Data-sheet compiled 24-09-2006 by S. V. Kulagin (NABU), received by BirdLife Cambridge May 2008, translated by Tsovinar Hovhannisyan in summer 2010, entered into WBDB by Rory McCann in autumn 2010.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Western Issyk Kul Lake. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/01/2022.