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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Lake Tengiz has no outlet, and is therefore salty. 295 species of birds have been recorded at Lake Tengiz, 22 of which are endangered. Uninsulated powerlines were killing numerous birds before a GNF project to replace the powerlines with a solar energy station.
Country Kazakhstan
Latitude 50° 26' 23" (50.4400)
Longitude 68° 54' 0" (68.9000)

Physical Characteristics

Surface Area 1,382.60 km2
Depth Mean depth: 2.5 m
Maximum depth: 6.7 m
Type Saline
Catchment Catchment size: 2.90 km2
Catchment/surface area ratio: 0:1


Economic Value
Major Cities

Watershed Management

Description During 2001, Global Nature Fund (GNF) collected money to construct a solar power station at Lake Tengiz. The project was carried out on-site by the Living Lakes partners NABU (German branch of Birdlife International) and the local national park authority Korgalijinski Zapovednik. The power lines that had been killing rare birds (see "Species of Concern" below) have now been removed.
Issues Excessive water diversions
Other Issues Invasive Species
Specific Contaminants Industrial

Biodiversity Conservation

Designations Ramsar Site
Ramsar Site Name Kourgaldzhin & Tengiz Lakes
Ramsar Designations 1, 2, 4, 5
Species of Concern Non-insulated power lines caused the death of a large number of birds including very rare species such as the steppe eagle and the spotted eagle in the past. In 2000, 800 birds were killed on a stretch of 11 km in the space of only a few days.

LakeNet Programs

Biodiversity Needs Assessment Survey



Kourgaldzhin & Tengiz Lakes Ramsar Fact Sheet
Biodiversity Conservation of the World's Lakes: A Preliminary Framework for Identifying Priorities
ILEC Database
ILEC Database

Additional Data Sources

Birkett, C., and I. Mason. 1995. A new global lakes database for remote sensing programme studying climatically sensitive large lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 21 (3) 307-318.
Lehner, B. and Doll, P. (2004): Development and validation of a global database of lakes, reservoirs and wetlands. Journal of Hydrology 296/1-4: 1-22.
Living Lakes Profiles of lakes with organizations in the network.
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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