Khar lake

Surface area: 83.798ha
Elevation: 1.132-1.254m

Protection status: Fully protected by Khar Us Lake National Park.

Site description: The Khar Lake is one of freshwater lakes in the Great Lakes Depression. The Chonokhairkhan River flows into the lake from northwest and Teel River flows out to the northeast. The lake is connected to Durgun Lake through the Khom Channel and Nogoon Lake. There are narrow horns at the northwest and southeast inlets of the lake and here grows dense reeds and rushes, so it becomes favorable place for birds. The lake freezes over from November to April. The lake is surrounded by semi-desert vegetation. A wet meadow along the Chonokhairkhan River is used for hay production. In the winters, fishery takes place at the site. There are several cases that people and livestock are poisoned by poisonous algae, which have an ability to multiply in short period. It is always difficult to make an assessment of the lake’s fish resource because it’s not covers the lake fully. In addition, regulated and unregulated fishing still taking place in large amounts. The lake is included in Ramsar site.

Importance for birds: Globally threatened bird species such as Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus), White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) and Pallas's Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) occur at the site. Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), Greylag Goose (Anser anser), Bar-headed Goose (A. indicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), Common Merganser (Mergus merganser), Common Crane (Grus grus), Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) occur, exceeding 1% of their flyway populations, during spring and fall migration.

Special flora and fauna: Lake Osman (Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus) and Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus revirostris), listed in Red Data Book of Mongolia, are live in the lake. The rarest plant species of Mongolia such as Dwarf white waterlily (Nymphaea candida) and Nyphur pumilum are grow here. There is small saxaul grove in the southwest of the lake. This area is the northernmost location of this tree.

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