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Ulken Araltobe island on Alakol lake.

Migration station on lake Alakol.

“Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death” 

Marcel Achard.

Central Asia Highway.

Ulken Araltobe (Big Stone) - the largest island representing a flat topmost height, extended from northwest on a southeast. The island has length of 8 kilometers, width of 5,7 kilometers, the area of 26,5 kilometers, height above a water level of 88,4 meters.
Absolute height - 439,5 meters above sea level. Radical breeds are covered by a layer of friable adjournment on which the deserted vegetation is developed. In the central part of island there is the hilly plain raised on a level of lake on 58 - 60 meters.
On islands of lake Alakol there are no inhabited constructions of the person though on island Ulken Araltobe there are some barrows testifying to presence here of people during ancient times.
After unsuccessful attempt of the winter maintenance of sheeps (absence of fresh water and lack of forages) on islands Ulken-Araltobe in an agriculture in the further were not used. The height on a shore is formed by sand, rubble and gravel.
East and northeast party of island flat, with coastal shaft from gravel, rubble and sand behind which are available a reed, bushes salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima) and a saxaul. From the southern and southwest party of island there are rocky breakages in height 10 - 20 meters on which ledges long since there is a colony of greater cormorants.
In 1971 here there were 2 colonies an aggregate number up to 2000 individuals (Auezov, 1977), in 1974 - 2 colonies on 100 - 150 jacks in everyone (Borodikhin, Gavrilov, 1978), in 1986 - 3 groups of 18, 50 and 100 jacks.
In 1999 here there were only 49 jacks of the big cormorant and there lived 48 pairs Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans). At northern coast of island in downturn behind coastal shaft shallow lakes by the area up to 300 х 300 meters surrounded by reeds, salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima) were formed.
On these reservoirs nesting coot (Fulica atra), shelduck (Tadorna), stifftail (Oxyura leucocephala), a red-nosed dive, Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca voronxxi), black-winged stilt (Himantopus), sea parrot (Haematopus), terrick (Sterna), gallinule (Gallinula), a coastal swallow, a black-headed wagtail, and even dwelling of the muskrat was marked.
In the end of June jacks of a waterfowl here were observed. Among them are noted greater, a swan, bullhead (Bucephala), a grey duck, big godwit (Limosa). On slopes of hills there are field, small and steppe larks, bilious porridge, in thrickets salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima) - the Indian sparrow.

The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.The Alakol lake.

Authorship:
Berezovikov Nikolay Nikolaevich, Cand.Biol.Sci.

Photos
Alexander Petrov.