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On the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn lakes in Akmola region, from the 13th to the 16th of September 2016, there were registered more than 20 thousand individuals of white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) which is a globally endangered species of ducks listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. For the accuracy of the survey the count was made simultaneously on the main concentrations of birds which eliminates the possibility of double registration of the same bird. On the lake Essey in Korgalzhyn Reserve there were counted 8,000 individuals, another 9,500 birds at the same time were counted on the lake Salmankol, about 2,500 on the lake Tengiz, and the groups of 100-200 birds were on several other lakes; these ponds are a part of the Important Bird Areas (IBA).
Such concentration is a record not only for Kazakhstan, but also for the whole world. This number of birds exceeds (!) the adopted to date number of global population, which, according to recent data, is about 16 000 individuals. The survey number of birds at the same time does not include all the migratory white-headed ducks in the country, as their concentrations during migration in Kazakhstan are usually observed until early October.
The survey is held in the framework of the ACBK project “Monitoring of key habitats of white-headed duck in Kazakhstan” which is supported by the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, the Conservation leadership program (CLP), and the Ornithological Society of the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia (OSME ).
The ACBK thanks the project participants Alexander Fedulin and Alexey Koshkin, who found a record concentration of birds. The survey was also attended Albert Salemgareyev, Vera Voronova, Alena Koshkina, Artyom Koshkin, Steffen Zuther and Alena Krivosheyeva.