GNF - Tengiz Lake and Korgaljinski Lakes

Tengiz Lake and Korgaljinski Lakes – Kazakhstan


Background Tengiz Lake and Korgaljinski Lakes

Lake Tengiz and Korgaljinski Lakes are located in Kazakhstan, a country that, to the east, borders on China and, to the west and north, to Russia. In Europe, America or Africa hardly anyone knows Kazakhstan, despite the fact that Kazakhstan is the world''s ninth largest country with about 15 million inhabitants, split up into over hundred ethnik groups.

Deserts, semi-deserts or steppe cover more than 80 % of the surface, 13 % only are farmland. Late 1991 Kazakhstan declared it''s independence from USSR.

Lake Tengiz is three times larger than Lake Constance and dotted with undisturbed islands. The lake water is salty, as an out-flow is lacking. Not far away are the Korgaljinski Lakes fed by the Nura river. Having both, an in-flow and an out-flow, these lakes contain fresh water. In 1968 large sections were placed under protection. Unlike other lake regions, the Kazakhs are taking the matter seriously, an effort that deserves our praise, since most of the steppe lakes have been vandalised.

In the marked-off zone, Kazakh and German biologists counted about 500 plant, 347 bird, and 43 mammal species among the Saiga Antelopes and Marmots. The islands in Tengiz host up to 50,000 nesting pairs of Greater Flamino and 1,300 pairs of Great Black-headed Gull. In the steppe around the shores nest Steppe Eagles and Demoiselle Cranes.

Many Siberian nesting birds moult or rest at Lake Tengiz before migrating to the Caspian Sea, the Persian Golf, Western Europe. Some continue to the Mediterranean Basin or Africa. About 2 million waterfowl are involved, including 25,000 Black-necked Grebes, 200,000 White-fronted Geese, 240,000 Shelducks, 50,000 Goldeneyes, and 80,000 Red-necked Phalaropes.

UNESCO World Cultural Heritage

In July 2008, Naurzum State Reserve and Korgalzhyn State Reserve became UNSECO´s Worlds Heritage.

More information about Tengiz Lake and Korgaljinski Lakes

Detailed Data



Partner Organisations Tengiz Lake and Korgaljinski Lakes



Korgaljinski Goszapovednik, Kazakhstan

(Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve)

Murat Aitzhanov, Olga Koshkina

021300 Republik of Kazakstan

Akmolinskaya oblast

Phone: +7-716-37-2-16-50, +7-716-37-2-10-13

Fax: +7-716-37-2-16-50, +7-716-37-2-10-13




NABU Germany, Tengiz Project

Till Dieterich

Invalidenstrasse 112

10115 Berlin, Germany

Phone: + 49 - 30 - 28 49 84 - 44

Fax: + 49 - 30 - 28 49 84 - 84