The Ustyurt Plateau is a vast desert or steppe-like plateau in Central Asia. It belongs to the Turan lowland and lies between the Caspian depression and the Western Aral Sea on the territory of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. The plateau has an area of about 180,000 km², the highest height is 370 m. The Mangyshlak Peninsula, which extends far into the Caspian Sea to the west, is usually classified as the Ustyurt Plateau. On the northern outskirts, the plateau reaches a height of 556 meters in the Mangystau mountains. There is very little water on the plateau.
The Ustyurt desert plateau is home to various species of animals, some of which are rare, such as saiga antelope, caracal and wild steppe. The plateau is also inhabited by various species of reptiles and rodents. The sloping soil structure also offers hunting grounds for various birds of prey such as Turkmen eagle owl, saker falcon or black vulture. The Ustyurt Plateau was once home to Asiatic cheetahs and various goitered gazelle subspecies. The flora and fauna of the Ustyurt plateau has also changed due to climate change caused by the release of water from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya to irrigate cotton monocultures in Uzbekistan.