Tengiz Lake

About Tengiz Lake

Tengiz Lake is a saline lake in north-central part of Kazakhstan. Its eastern shore is deeply indented and includes the Tengizi Islands.

Lake Tengiz is an important wetland site for birds. It is a part of a Ramsar wetland site of international importance, the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn Lake System. 318 species of birds have been recorded at Lake Tengiz, 22 of which are endangered. It is the most northerly nesting site for the Greater flamingo; in the years 2006-2011 around 45,000 members of that species were noted. In 2015, however, the number dropped to less than 15,000. The lake is part of the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, for which it was nominated in 2008 together with the Naurzum Nature Reserve as the first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kazakhstan (Saryarka — Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan).

On 16 October 1976, the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 23 unintentionally splashed down into the northern part of the lake, which was frozen, crashing through the ice. The crew was saved thanks to a very difficult but successful rescue operation.

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