Kayrakkum Reservoir

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Some 400–700 Pygmy Cormorants winter at the reservoir

Kayrakkum Reservoir, also spelt variously as Kayrakum, Kairakum, Qayraqqum or Qayroqqum, is a large artificial lake in Ghafurov District of northern Sughd Province, in the north-western part of the Central Asian nation of Tajikstan. It lies in the western part of the Fergana Valley and was created in 1956 by damming the Syr Darya river. The provincial capital of Khujand lies about 15 km west of the dam.[1]


The reservoir has a surface area of 523 km2; its length is 56 km and maximum width 15 km. Its maximum depth near the dam at its western end is 25 m; the average depth is 8 m. At the other end, the head of the reservoir is silted up for a distance of 10–15 km, a consequence of the construction of the Tahtagul hydroelectric power station upstream on the Naryn River in Kyrgyzstan. Silted areas are characterised by multiple small lakes and shallows, with tugay vegetation of tamarisk, oleaster, poplar thickets and reed beds, supporting many thousands of wintering waterfowl, waders and birds of prey. The climate of the region is continental and semi-arid.[1]

Important Bird Area[edit]

A 1150 km2 tract of land encompassing the reservoir and its surrounds has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports significant numbers of the populations of various bird species, either as residents, or as overwintering, breeding or passage migrants. These include Mallards, Pygmy Cormorants, Saker Falcons, Cinereous Vultures, Great Bustards, Houbara Bustards, Common Cranes, Pale-backed Pigeons, Pallid Scops-owls, Egyptian Nightjars, European Rollers, White-winged Woodpeckers, Great Tits, Desert Larks, Streaked Scrub-warblers, Sykes's Warblers, Asian Desert Warblers, Saxaul Sparrows and Desert Finches.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Kayrakkum Reservoir". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-06. 

Coordinates: 40°23′40″N 70°10′53″E / 40.39444°N 70.18139°E / 40.39444; 70.18139