Ak-Zhayik (Kazakhstan)

This site covers an area of 396,346 hectares and is located in the Atyrau oblast, where it mainly occupies wetlands of the Ural River delta and adjacent territories along the coast of the Caspian Sea. These lie along one of the largest migration routes, stretching from Eurasia to Eastern Africa. It is a concentration site for more than 240 species of migrating birds, including 110 species of waterbirds. The region is also a nesting site for about 70 waterbird species. The site also hosts a rare bird, the Dalmatian pelican (Pelicanus crispus) with more than 600 nesting pairs in the colony (12% of the global population). The 17,000 permanent residents rely mainly on fishing, cattle breeding and hunting.