Zangezur Biosphere Complex
“Zangezur” Biosphere Complex SNCO was established on December 19, 2013; it comprises an area of 79660.5ha. The objective is to preserve, protect and reproduce its fauna and flora, natural ecosystems, landscape diversity, nature unique monuments, sustainable development of natural resources.
According to N929-Ն decree (08 September 2016) of the RA Government "Zangezur" Biosphere Complex "SNCO implements preservation works in specially protected areas, including in it 3 branches:
“Shikahogh” branch - 19 147,975 ha.
“Shikahogh” State Reserve district - 12137.075 ha
“Plane Grove” State Sanctuary district - 64.2 ha
“Khustup” State Sanctuary district - 6946.7 ha
“Zangezur” branch - 25 951,6959 га.
“Zangezur” State Sanctuary district - 25711.5959 ha
“Lake Sev” State Sanctuary - 240.1ha
“Areviq” branch - 33.939 га.
“Areviq” National Park - 31211.13 ha
“Boghaqar” State Sanctuary - 2728 ha
“Shikahogh” State Reserve district is situated in the RA Syunik region, south-eastern slopes of Mount Khustup, north- eastern slopes of the Meghri ridge, as well as upper basins of the Tsav and Shikahogh rivers at altitudes of 700-2800m. It was established in 1958. The area is about 12137ha. It was formed having an objective to preserve oak, hornbeam, beech, common yew, plane forests and the fauna. The relief of the reserve is highly fragmented. There are many mountain streams and mineral sources. The flora of higher plants of 432 genera and 92 families with 1100 species are richly introduced; 70 species are registered in the Red Book of Armenia. In “Shikahogh” State Reserve there are Levantine, water and grass snakes, the sheltopusik, Armenian steppe vipers. The fauna of birds are rich here: Caspian snowcock, Golden eagle, Griffon Vulture. The Reserve is home to brown bear, badger, wild boar, reo deer, wolf, fox, brown rabbit, long-eared hedgehog; occasionally one can find Bezoarian goat, Primary-Asian leopard. Additionally many of them are included in the Red Book of Armenia.
Plane Grove Sanctuary
“Plane Grove” State Sanctuary district is the biggest natural grove of the oriental plane in the Caucasus. It was established in 1958 due to the decree of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (N341-P) and now occupies 64.2 ha. The sanctuary is located close to “Shikahogh” State Reserve and Nerkin Hand village, in the Tsav river valley at altitudes of 700-800m above the sea level; it comprises over a thousand trees ranging in age from 250 to 350, reaching 30- 35 meters in height. The sanctuary is a significant conservation area of endemic, rare and threatened flora and fauna species; Greek walnut, Quercus araxina, Periploca graeca, Euonymus velutina and etc. Vertebrate fauna species are numerous here; 7 species of lizards, 8 species of snakes and 2 species of turtles. Rare species of the fauna one can find the twin-striped skink, Cat snake, Transcaucasian rat snake.
“Khustup” State Reserve district was established with the establishment of “Zangezur” Biosphere Complex SNCO. It occupies 6946.74 ha comprising the south-eastern part of the Meghri ridge, the upper mountain part of Mount Khustup. The main goal of “Khustup” State Sanctuary is preservation, recovery, reproduction of subalpine and meadow-steppe ecosystems, the landscape and biodiversity, natural unique monuments, nature heritage, as well as stable utilization of natural and recreation resources in the south-eastern part of the Meghri ridge, the upper mountain part of Mount Khustup, the RA Syunik region.
“Zangezur” State Sanctuary district was established on October 15, 2009 (N1187-N decree of the RA Government) with the aim of preserving, developing, reproducing subalpine and meadow-steppe ecosystems, the landscape and biodiversity, natural unique monuments, as well as stable utilization of natural and recreation resources at the southern slopes of the Bargushat ridge and the eastern slopes of the Zangezur ridge in the RA Syunik region.
It spreads around the upper reaches of Geghi, Voxchaberd in the Zangezur Ridge, southern slopes of the Bargushat Ridge and is bounded by the mining area of Kajarana mining town, the Meghri Ridge in the east, “Ordubad” National Park in Nakhchivan Autonomous Rebublic of Azerbeijan in the south-east.
“Lake Sev” State Sanctuary
“Lake Sev” State Sanctuary was founded according to N975-N decree (October 12, 2001) and N717 decree (October 17, 1987) of the RA Government on the bases of the established reserve.“Lake Sev” State Sanctuary is situated in the RA Syunik region, near the ridge of the Mets Ishkhanasar volcano cone of the Syunik volcano plateau at altitudes of 2658m. The lake is not affluent. The lake mirror is of 240ha, the length of 1,6 km, width of 1,2 km, depth of 7,5m, the volume of water is 9 million3.
The lake has been formed from melting snow and natural mountain springs filling a volcano crater. The area surrounding the lake is covered with vegetation typical to sub alpine meadows, including 102 species of plants. The main goal of the reservation is the preservation and regular utilization of the unique water basin (having an upper mountain volcano origin) and their flora and fauna, as well as 102 species of vascular plants.
For the purpose of developing and widening the system of specially protected areas in Meghri, the RA Syunik region, a decision was made to create “Areviq” National Park. “Areviq” National Park was opened in 2010. Almost the whole system of landscape belts is represented in the area of the national park: from low and medium mountain semi deserts up to high mountain steppes and alpine type landscapes of the Meghri river upstream. The territory is 30353. 8 ha. Preservation of rare and endangered species is of great importance here. For the first time in 60 years striped hyena was found in Armenia; it is recorded in the Red Book of Armenia.
“Boghaqar” State Sanctuary was formed in 1989. The area is 4048ha. It is situated in the RA Syunik region, southern slopes of the Zangezur ridge at altitudes of 1400-2100m. It was formed having an aim to preserve the flora and fauna endemic species ( Tulipa sosnovskyi, Scorphularia takhtajanii and etc.) and rare ones (orchids, Quercus araxina, Gagea).