status: Partially protected by Khyargas Lake
description: The freshwater
lake, Airag, located in Khyargas Lake Depression, is one of beautiful
freshwater lakes of Great Lakes Depression. The lake freezes over from November
to April. The site covers Zavkhan river delta, Airag Lake and its surrounding
sparsely vegetated semi-desert area. The major uses of land are livestock
grazing and small-scale fishing. Because of its remote location, tourism is
less developed. Degradation of pastureland, desertification and illegal hunting
are main threats at the site. There aren’t any protection management plan and
protecting measures not taken here. Carrion of juvenile Dalmatian without beaks
is evidence of illegal hunting taking place at the site. The Airag Lake is
included in Ramsar site.
birds: The site is one
of few places where Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus
crispus) of the East Asian bird populations harbor. Nationally
threatened bird species such as White-headed Duck (Oxyura
leucocephala), Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides), Asian Dowitcher (Limnodromus
semipalmatus), Relict Gull (Larus relictus) and Pallas’s
Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) occur here. Every year about 20000 waterbirds spend the summer in
Airag Lake. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Dalmatian
Pelican Pelecanus crispus, White Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia),
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea),
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina),
Kentish Plover( Charadrius alexandrines), Greater Sand Plover (C.
leschenaultia) and Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) occur in
numbers in excess of 1% threshold of world flyway population. The site also
supports the Eurasian high montane, steppe and dessert biome.
flora and fauna: Mongolian grayling (Thymallus brevirostris), narrow-headed Altai osman (Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus), dwarf osman (Oreoleuciscus
humilis) and Dwarf
Altai osman of Western
Mongolian endemic fish species live in the lake. Some rare semi-desert grassland vegetations occur around the lake.
Rare mammals Goitered Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) and Thick-tailed
Pygmy Jerboa (Salpingotus crassicauda) occur here. The rarest aquatic
plant of Mongolia, Typho minima grows at the site.