Lake Zhyltyrbas is Included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance

Publication date: 15 February 2024

Photo. Lake Zhyltyrbas (Uzbekistan). Source:

Lake Zhyltyrbas on the territory of the Republic of Karakalpakstan is included in the list of wetlands of international importance protected by the Ramsar Convention. This lake is the fifth natural heritage site from Uzbekistan included in the Ramsar list.

Now the total number of wetlands of international importance in Uzbekistan has reached five, and the area of these territories is 674.4 thousand hectares. These are the Dengizkul lakes (2001), the Arnasai lake system (2008), the Tudakul and Kuymazar reservoirs (2020), the unique Sudochie lake system (2023), as well as Lake Zhyltyrbas (2024).

Lake Zhyltyrbas is a former bay of the Aral Sea, which serves as a barrier to salt and dust storms from the bottom of the Aral Sea. After a sharp drop in sea level, it was separated and fed by the waters of the Amu Darya River, which preserved the native fauna of the Southern Aral Sea. In recent years, additional irrigation channels have been dug, which maintain the water level without affecting the change in fauna.

In the Aral Sea region, Zhyltyrbas is of great importance during nesting and migration periods, both for rare birds at the international level and for the biological diversity of the deserts of Central Asia, including dense reeds and shrubs, salt marshes, swamps, canals and deserts. In addition, the lake is a habitat for rare endemic fish species of the Aral Sea region.

Brief reference

It should be noted that the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) contributes to the implementation of the Ramsar Convention. With the support of GIZ and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, CAREC supports the Ramsar Regional Initiative of Central Asia (RRI-CA). The RRI-CA’s objectives:

·        Support for the implementation of the Strategic Plan of the Ramsar Convention in Central Asia;

·        Promoting the effective conservation and sustainable use of existing and potential Ramsar wetlands in the region;

·        Raising awareness of the importance of wetland ecosystems;

·        Inclusion of wetlands issues in the programs of national and regional nature protection activities;

·        Ensuring the transfer of knowledge and experience in Central Asia and other regions of the world.

Additional information: Ludmila Kiktenko – Environmental Management Programme Manager, CAREC,

#wetlands #Ramsar #RRICA #WetlandsConservation #WetlandsMatter #CAREC

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