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Home » Alakol national nature reserve. Birdwatching on the Alakol Islands.

Fluctuations on level of Lake Alakol.

Ornithological tours to Alakol lake.

“We are the children of nature, we will love her as much as our own mother!”

Vyacheslav Sergeechev.

Nature of Alakol reserve.

Drainless, salty lake Alakol is located at an altitude of 347.7 meters above sea level, stretched from northwest to southeast, located in the east of Zhetysu and southwest of East Kazakhstan regions. An analysis of lake level fluctuations in the geological and historical past showed that it had a minimum level in 1845 - 1850 and until 1940 it was filled by 3 - 4 meters (Kurdyukov, 1951), while periodic rises were accompanied by drops in the water level.
Thus, one complete cycle from minimum to minimum (1885 - 1946) lasted 61 years, of which 23 were on the rise and 38 on the decline, while the first decline with a minimum dates from 1884 - 1885, the rise from maximum - around 1908 - 1917, the second decline with a minimum - around 1946 (Korovin, 1963), rise - from 1947 to 1964.
The average level of Lake Alakol from 1879 to 1963 in the area of ​​the village of Koktuma is 8 meters 94 cm, the largest average annual is 12 meters 94 cm (1908), the smallest is 6 meters 65 cm (1885), the long-term amplitude of the average annual levels is 5 meters 58 cm (Korovin, Kurdin, 1965 .).
Accordingly, there were also changes in the size of the lake. If in 1840 it had a length of 70 kilometers and a width of 43 kilometers, then in 1931 - 75 and 48 kilometers, in 1951 - 90 and 50 kilometers. From 1950 to 1962, the level of the lake rose by 4 meters 25 cm and its northern shores moved up to 6 kilometers compared to 1939 (Filonets, 1965).
The rate of rise in the water level is evidenced by the fact that the inhabitants of the village of Kamyskala (Rybachye), located on the northern shore of Alakol, from 1956 to 1971 changed the location of the settlement 5 times.
The largest fish factory in the region was also flooded. From 1974 to 1979, there was a gradual decrease in the water level, as a result of which a group of Chubar-Tubek (Sandy, Yuzhny) islands appeared in the western part of the lake, as well as the Karakum Islands in the Hare Bay, which became the most important nesting site for relict gulls and other colonial birds.
In 1980, there was a slight rise in the water level, as a result of which the South Island was washed away and only a small sand bar remained. By 1986, on the southern shore of the lake, the coastal streets of the village of Koktuma were flooded.
As a result of further shallowing, the islands of Chubar-Tubek in 1986 merged with the land. In 1992 - 1994, a new increase in the water level by 1 meter annually was revealed, which caused the flooding of the islands, of which only sandy spits remained.
Since 1996, a slow decline has begun, while in 1999 the water level in Zayachya Bay dropped by 1 meter.
Geographic coordinates of Lake Alakol: N46°09'40.77" E81°41'04.69"

Berezovikov Nikolay Nikolaevich, Cand.Biol.Sci.

Photos by
 Alexander Petrov.