Monday, March 13, 2017

Sudochie Lakes in Karakalpakstan on the list of Ramsar reservoirs.

Lake Sudochie located in the Muynak district of the Kungrad region of the Autonomous Republic Karakalpakstan, 220 km NW from the town of Nukus.

The Sudochie wetlands consists of a large number of small and four large reservoirs (Akushpa, Karateren, Begdulla-Aydyn and Bolshoe Sudochie) and adjoining areas. In total some 20,000ha. It is one of the most ecologically intact zones of the Amudariya river delta and is a key location for the preservation and maintenance of the biodiversity of the region. The lakes support many breeding waterbird species including rare and disappearing species, all using the Western-Asian migratory route. The Central Asian flyway is a stopover location for waterbirds from the north of Europe and Asia, Western Siberia and Kazakhstan on their migration to wintering areas on the southern Caspian Sea, and onto Africa and the Indian subcontinent. This spring migration begins in the middle of March and ends in the middle of May.

Through the efforts of the society for the protection of birds of Uzbekistan the Sudochye lakes has been nominated and accepted for Ramsar status (see below). To date Ornithologists have counted about two hundred and thirty species of birds on the lakes. With more than 80 species of birds nesting there. These include the pelicans, flamingos,  cormorants, egrets, spoonbills, swans, ducks, gulls and curlews,

Eleven birds on the lake are listed in the Red lists of the International Union for conservation of nature. In 2014 a large colony of nesting red book species of pink flamingos nested in the lake with more than a thousand adult birds. (This year they are back again in large numbers). Also such rare species on the lakes include the Dalmatian Pelican and the white-headed duck. They also noticed (presumed as extinct) the slender-billed curlew. These species alone making this one of the most important Ramsar sites in Central Asia.

The inclusion of these wetlands in the Ramsar List has enhance biosecurity measures in the delta. Ramsar the International Convention On Wetlands of global Importance was accepted on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar, given the global importance to aquatic and wetland areas. The convention has been ratified by 160 countries around the world to date. About two thousand lakes with total area of 1.836 million square kilometers are now included in the Ramsar List. Uzbekistan joined the Ramsar Convention in 2001. The total area of wetlands in the country is about one million hectares and numbers over 500 lakes. Migrations of many species of waterfowl pass through Uzbekistan, and so it is particularly important to protect these critical habitats, through the preservation of its wetlands.


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