Zharkol Lakes

Country/territory: Kazakhstan

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 8,818 ha

Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2015 very unfavourable medium not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2007 baseline)
The IBA consists of a group of 4 lakes (Zharkol, Shoyndykol, Sabyndy and Taldy), positioned at the corners of a notional polygon with an area of c6 x 10 km, situated 25 km to the north-east of Arkalyk. The site is divided by the Shoiyndy-Arkalyk highway. The most important is the slightly brackish Zharkol Lake, nearly oval in shape, with an area of c3.8 x 4.2 km and depths of 1.5 - 2 m. Zharkol is 4 km north-west of the village of Shoiyndykol and 1.5 km from a seasonal lake of similar size – Shoyndykol - to which it is connected by means of seasonally dry channels. The northern and southern shores of the Lake have a few cliffs. The lake has one main seasonal inflow but the main water input, as is the case with all the other lakes in the vicinity, is provided by multiple seasonal run-offs. Lake Taldy (4 x 1.8 km) shows drastic fluctuations of water-level, sometimes completely drying-up. In years of plentiful water, when levels are more stable, extensive reedbeds develop. A similar regime is shown by the neighbouring Sabyndy lake (about 4 x 2 km). Although there are 4 lakes, in practice the IBA consists of three waterbody clusters: Zharkol-Shoiyndykol, Sabyndy and Taldy. Agricultural is well developed throughout the entire Region and fields are widespread and sometimes extend right to the shoreline.

Key biodiversity
The fields around the lakes provide good feeding areas for geese.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Zharkol Lakes. Downloaded from on 24/02/2024.