Yuzhno-Surkhan (South-Surkhan) Reservoir

Country/territory: Uzbekistan

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2006)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,208 ha

Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2018 high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This reservoir is situated in the foothills of hilly steppe 2-3 km from Kumkurgan town in the bed of the Surchandariya river. It is 3.2 – 6.2 km wide, about 20 km long and with an average depth of 9.9 m and a maximal depth of 27 m. The water level is not stable, but it does not flood or freeze in winter. There is an absence of shoreline vegetation and the shores are mainly flat. In the northeastern part of the reservoir the shore consists of loess cliffs 10-15 m in height. The adjacent territory is an agricultural landscape and rural settlements.

Key biodiversity
Specific ornithological research has not been carried in the area of the reservoir. As the site does not freeze it is a regular site for wintering waterbirds. Counts of wintering waterbirds were carried out within the framework of the international winter counts of birds in January 2003-2005. In 2003 38,398 birds of 23 species wintered on the reservoir. The main species were Anas platyrhynchos (29,564), Fulica atra (3,066) and Phalacrocorax carbo (2,814). In 2004 27,117 birds of 18 species were counted with the main species being Anser anser (5,243) and Anas platyrhynchos (21,355). In 2005 23,207 birds of 26 species were counted, the main species being Anas platyrhynchos (19,426), Aythya ferina (686), Netta rufina (632) and Phalacrocorax pygmaeus (579). Small numbers of two globally threatened species have been recorded at Kumkurgan: Branta ruficollis and Pelecanus crispus, plus 4 species from the National Red Book: Larus ichthyaetus, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, Haliaeetus albicilla and Aquila nipalensis. Of Passeriformes, in winter it is possible to find flocks of Sturnus vulgaris, Alauda arvensis and Motacilla alba. In June 1962 D. Yu. Kashkarov recorded Marmaronetta angustirostris on the reservoir (Poslavskiy, 1992) and it is possible that the species may still breed in areas of overflow water from reservoir. However, there have been no recent summer ornithological surveys and this is therefore a major research requirement.

Non-bird biodiversity: Animals of note are Bufo viridis and Natrix tesselata. The shore is visited by domestic dogs.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yuzhno-Surkhan (South-Surkhan) Reservoir. Downloaded from on 09/02/2023.