Monitoring of Globally Threatened bird species in the Tengiz Lakes region in Central Kazakhstan
The Tengiz Lakes Region, covering the area of a proposed UNESCO-Biosphere Reserve with the existing Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve, is one of the biodiversity hotspots in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. It covers vast but fragile ecosystems including wetlands and steppes. A high number of globally threatened and nearly threatened bird species breed in this focus region of the proposed project or use it as a stopover site during migration at the crossroads of the Eurasian-African and Central Asian-Indian Flyways. Due to political and economic transformation since the independence of Kazakhstan a decade ago, little scientific research has been carried out. The proposed project aims to implement an ornithological monitoring program in the Tengiz Lakes Region with the help of young local scientists. The methodological approach includes training—both theoretical and practical—by a foreign researcher experienced in the region. During the fieldwork, special attention will be granted to some focus species, including White-headed Duck and Sociable Plover, of the region. The project will identify breeding sites, and assess numbers including the post-breeding and migration concentrations. In addition, regular monitoring using fixed itineraries will cover the most important sites in the project region.