Lesser Aral Sea and Delta of the Syrdarya River

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Lesser Aral Sea and Delta of the Syrdarya River

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    330,000 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    46°20'N 61°00'E
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Lesser Aral Sea and Delta of the Syrdarya River. 02/02/2012; Kyzylorda Oblast; 330,000 ha; 46°2050N 061°0009E. Includes Important Bird Areas (IBAs). The site covers the eastern part of the Lesser Aral Sea, including Saryshyganak Bay and the mouth of the Syrdarya River, with a number of lakes at the northeastern end of the Aral Depression. In spite of the ecological catastrophe of the shrinking of the Aral Sea in the 1960s, the area remains an important habitat for birds and other animals of the water-marsh complex. It is a feeding, breeding ground, and migration path for fish such as the critically endangered Fringebarbel Sturgeon and the Syrdarian Shovelnose Sturgeon, and there is a high level of fish endemism in the Syrdarya River Basin and Aral Sea. Mass nesting of birds such as the Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) and the Black Winged-silt (Himantopus himantopus) occur, and more than 200,000 waterbirds migrate through the site in autumn. This large wetland feeds the subsoil waters of the large arid region and is critically important for local people as it is one of their only sources of subsistence. Thanks to ongoing government efforts, the water level in the Lesser Aral has been rising with a relative revival of fisheries and agricultural activities. Ramsar Site no. 2083. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Administrative region: 
Aral district

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