Monitoring key sites for white-headed duck in Kazakhstan

Alyona Shmalenko

The white-headed duck, a globally threatened species is currently classified as Endangered by the IUCN. The largest sub-population of white-headed duck is in Central Asian and is declining for unknown reasons. We aim to identify the conservation status of white-headed duck on key sites in Kazakhstan and prepare recommendations for a National Action Plan for this species. We have chosen two pilot areas: 1) Tengiz-Korgalzhyn Lake System and 2) Kostanay Region which covers 18 Important Bird Areas, most of which are unprotected. Our monitoring programme will include a detailed description of typical white-headed duck habitats and identify the main threats they are facing in Kazakhstan. We will involve local biology students in our survey work and help them to develop the skills so that they can continue monitoring work in their own regions in the future.