Designated on 18 May 2007 in Almaty, Kazakhstan
Country: Kazakhstan
Coordinates: 51022′N; 62048′E
Area: 41,250 ha

Overview. Zharsor-Urkash Lake System is a group of salt and fresh water lakes surrounded by typical steppe landscapes of Sypsynagash Depression in northwestern Kazakhstan. The site stretches across 160 km, from the hilly Zauralye Plateau to the Turgai Hollow. From the north and south, the hollow is bordered by the clay plains of the Western Turgay Plateau. Within the site there are 14 salt and freshwater lakes and a number of small water bodies, including some of artificial origin. The largest salt lakes are Urkash (1,150 ha), and Zharsor (600 ha).

Importance for the Siberian Crane. Zharsor Lake is a regular stop-over site of the Siberian Crane. In 1997-2013 at least four sightings of the Siberian Crane in the spring and autumn migration period are known.

Importance for other waterbirds. The site territory is of great importance for pre-migratory congregations of Eurasian and Demoiselle Cranes. Eurasian Cranes numbered up to 20 thousand birds during staging period. In some years, cranes use this site from the middle or end of August to the beginning of October.

The lake system supports more than 20,000 migratory waterbirds during seasonal migrations, mainly sandpipers and geese. During autumn migration the site supports more than 1% of the populations of the Lesser White-fronted Goose, the Red-breasted Goose, the White-headed Duck, and the Sociable Lapwing.

Map of Zharsor-Urkash Lake System    [PDF 164 KB]

Sightings of the Siberian Crane at Zharsor-Urkash Lake System [PDF 44 KB]

WCASN Site Information Sheet. Part 1.     [PDF 158 KB]

Information Sheet of Ramsar Wetlands [PDF 1,642 KB]

Sheet of Important Bird Area Birdlife International

Fact Sheet of Zharsor-Urkash Lake System    [PDF 256 KB]