Home | Site Map | ICF


» Naurzum Lake System

» Zharsor-Urkash Lakes

» Kulykol Lake

» Tyuntyugar & Zhanshura Lake

Education and Raising Public Awareness in Kazakhstan
Fact Sheet 2.0 MB PDF

Management Improvements at Naurzum National Nature Reserve, Kazakhstan
Technical Brief 1.37 MB PDF

Water management planning for Naurzum National Nature Reserve, Kazakhstan
Technical Brief 1.52 MB PDF

To learn more about SCWP activities in Kazakhstan, click on the links above to download these resources.

Visit our documents page
to view additional project fact sheets and technical briefs.


Naurzum Lake System

Geographic Location

The Naurzum Lake System is located at 51° 25' N, 64° 27' E, at 90-170 m above sea level. It is 180 km from Kostanay, the Oblast (province) capital.


Naurzum-Kulagol lake system is a 22,000 ha natural wetland highly representative of Northern Kazakhstan - small lakes scattered in the steppe zone This site supports rare, vulnerable or endangered species of plants and animals and is important for maintaining the general and ecological diversity of a region because of the quality and peculiarities of its flora and fauna. It is especially valuable as a habitat for several rare bird species in spring and autumn migration periods. The site regularly supports 20,000 waterbirds and is a regular staging area for the Siberian Crane.

Located in the ancient valley between the Tobol and Turgay Rivers, the area is fed by melting snow and is therefore dependent upon climatic systems. There are several important hydrological features of the area, including Sarymoin, a group of salty lakes in the north; the Naurzum-Karasu River which flows into Naurzum lake, in the west and southwest. Naurzum Lake stretches approximately 3 km from south to north; spanning 11 km at its widest points. The lake averages 1.5-2 m deep, with a maximum depth of 4 m. Its shoreline is indented with bays, small islands and shallow water areas.

There are also a number of springs, especially on the small escarpments at the edges of the depression. In the past the spring flow of surface water was held back by a series of low earth "dams" in order to improve spring growth of steppe grasslands for grazing animals.

The principal threats to the area’s ecology include expansion of arable cultivation, increasing frequency of fires, illegal hunting and interference in the hydrological regime.

Conservation Status

The Naurzum Lake System was designated a State Zapovednik (Federal Nature Reserve) in 1938. The government has recently annexed Lake Kulagol to be included in the Zapovednik. The site is included in the West/Central Asia Site Network for Siberian Cranes and Other Waterbirds and was nominated to the list of key Important Bird Areas in 2007. In 2008, the Naurzum and Korgalizhin Reserves were registered within the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites within the site, Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan. In July 2009 the Naurzum Lake System was further designated a Wetland of International Importance through the Ramsar Convention.

SCWP Objectives

One of the project’s main goals has been achieved – the extension of the reserve. This needs to be consolidated through the mapping and marking of boundaries. The SCWP is working to improve the water supply system of the lakes by breaking down the old earth dams to restore the natural surface water flow from snow melt. Project activities are also focusing on increasing the efficiency of wildlife protection services (rangers and wardens), and establishing a comprehensive education and public awareness program, which will help reduce threats to the water regime and educate hunters about the protected species within the site.


SCWP staff from Iran and USA during field trip to Naurzum

Home | About SCWP | Regional Activities | National Activities | Contacts | Links | Site Map

Last update: March 23, 2005.

Website developed by CompassMedia