11 Aug 2020

A shortly description of the bird world of Armenia։ Part 3

Most of birds, adapting near the human habitation can take part of the expected crop, being spreaders of diseases.

The excretion of urban birds on architectural structures and statues can have an indelible traces destroying metal and stone. Birds around garbage near in the streets, parks, green areas of Yerevan, open cafes, markets, from a health point of view pose a significant threat due to the sanitary condition of the capital․

Among the many species of birds, crows, brown doves, and sparrows have been known since ancient times. Adapting to human life, these birds build nests everywhere, from tree branches and dense foliage, inaccessible parts of power poles, to the roofs of buildings.

Each breeding pair of crows  lays 3-7 eggs, the eggs are greenish-blue, pinned gray, black spots. The breeding season is April to July. In June, incomplete flying puppies can be seen. Parents in the care of cubs, in case of danger, can try to attack a person. The mother crow can try to attack any uninformed person or animal near the cubs hideout in the same way for defensive purposes. This aggressive behavior of crows gradually gone, when cubs already can fly in late July and early August.

In the city of Yerevan, magpies have appeared since the 1970s, initially due to landscaping and later in a wide range of garbage and open landfills. Crows and magpies are omnivorous birds. It should be reminded that not only human food scraps serve as food for them, but also the eggs, cubs and adults of birds living in the city. It is undeniable that urban birds (crows, magpies), by eating the remains of food in the garbage, as sanitizers, help to neutralize the garbage. But we must not forget that during this time they carry many bacteria on their feet and beaks and can infecting the environment with humans and animals. It should be noted, that the tuberculosis of Kochs’ is common for human and birds.

In the absence of measures, they go unnoticed and can be a massive source of hidden infection, especially in open landfills.

The vicious idea use of lands liberated from the waters of lake Sevan for agricultural purposes led to the collapse of the central ring of the ecosystem of the environment, the desertification of the areas free from the waters of the lake and the loss of the flora and fauna.

This happened after the implementation of the idea of drying up Lake Gili in the south-eastern part of Sevan, which left severe negative effects on the quality of water and land. In the 1960s, Lake Gillie was completely dry. Hundreds of species of animals and plants were registered in the Red Book, dozens of species became extinct or rare, the Great Cormorant, for which they paid one ruble as a pest, is now registered in the Red Book of the Republic.

Even some of the bird nesting species that are common in these areas will either completely forget about Gill as a habitat, or they will be reduced in number to become endangered species.

The deterioration of landscape, rapid hard rock exposure leads leads to a gradual reduction in the diversity of habitats. 

03 Aug 2020

A shortly description of the bird world of Armenia. Part 2

The problem of the former Dilijan reserve, now a national park, is the protection of the ecosystem,  “Shikahogh” Reserve is the protection of the reliction forests of platan, Erebuni reserve is protection of wild wheat in open spaces of semi-deserts and etc.  Sean National Park Among the specially protected areas there are several reserves, which are aimed at the protection of trout and swamp birds. Of course, the bird species need protection in the areas of the above-mentioned reserves and national parks. None of the bird sellers here  have the right to catch the bird and other documents permitting the sale by the Ministry of Environment. There are sparrows to large species for sale. Bird sellers are destroy bird nests, steal eggs and pups, and leave without offspring species that can reproduce only in 5-7 years of life.

 The scientific and non-scientific materials obtained as a result of centuries of experience of human society and many years of study of natural phenomena testify to the services rendered in the field of human development from the ancient times to the present day by birds.

Birds in our environment are the bearers of aesthetic, cognitive and educational ideas, which of  song recordings are used in the medicine and music, and the most perfect modern flying devices were designed and implemented by the example of their aerodynamic flight properties.

Most importantly, birds as a biological means  against harmfull insects. Examples of birds are widely presented in Armenian fables, legends, tales, folk sayings.

A Ghanalanyan's book "Tradition" says that "every year a stork strangles one of its cubs to sacrifice to God. Our research has confirmed the fact that the stork throws 1-2 cubs out of the nest every year, which is aimed at regulating the number of cubs.

"Hoopoe" parable of Mkhitar Gosh truthfully mentions the fact of the stench of hoopoe.

These and other similar realities come to confirm the idea, that our ancestors were well acquainted with the bird world due to of their great interest and sharp observation.

The laws on punishments are remarkable in the judgment books of Smbat Sparapet և Mkhitar Gosh (XII century), which of used to persons who take the hatching mother bird from the bird's nest with eggs or chicks and the person’s punishment lasts as many years as the mother could give generation.

In our time, many issues related to the protection and significance of the bird world remain outside of the attention of state bodies and society.

Due to many unregulated actions, a number of species disappear or change their lifestyle, as a result of which they cause significant damage to agriculture and the urban environment.

                                                                                           To be continued... 

23 Jul 2020

A shortly description of the bird world of Armenia: Part 1

The bird world of Armenia is as unique as the other components of nature: vegetation, water surface, climate, mountain masses, etc. The earth's surface is very rocky, with fast-flowing rivers and gorges. Most of the fragmented forests are spread on steep slopes, which in the south of the republic are often sparse, and in the north are represented by lush and dense foliage.

The territory of the Republic of Armenia occupies the north-eastern part of the Armenian plateau at an altitude of 400-4090 m above sea level. One of the largest bird migratory routes in the world passes through the airspace of Armenia. The group belonging to the 18 categories of the bird world of the republic includes 349 species consisting of 60 families․

Due to their habitat, they are divided into semi-desert, mountain-steppe, forest, alpine, wetland, and sinanthrope species․

The whole bird world of Armenia makes up about 4% of the world's bird fauna, many of which come from the countries of the southern and northern hemispheres - Europe, Africa, Persia, the Mediterranean, the Arabian and other countries.

Worth special attention are characterized by 4 statuses: endangered, vulnerable, uncertain status և extinct species. Most of them are registered in Red Book. About 350 species of birds, 67 are registered in the Red Book of the Armenian Republic. It is conditioned by the sharp reduction of the number of birds and the distribution areas, which is a consequence of deforestation and careless use of fertilizers.

Despite the negative impulses of human activity in recent years, the Armenian birdworld remains with its diverse species in the South Caucasus and it is an intermediate ring, that carries out the genetic and physical connections of the bird's in the Caspian Sea, Black and Mediterranean Seas basins.

The Armenian Plateau (the territory of the Republic of Armenia) is the crossroads of the northern-southern borders of the distribution of many species of birds and subspecies, where many subspecies are formed as a species. One of the best examples of this fact is the Armenian Seagull (Larus armenicus), which recently received the status of a species.  One of the great interest in scientific circles is also represending a blue nightingale (Luscinia svecica), when Norwegian partners have come up with the idea subspecies by replacing this subspecies by species.

The issue of bird protection in Armenia are implemented by the recently adopted law on animal protection and legislative acts. In terms of that more partially and practically improved states are national parks, reserves, sanctuary and specially protected areas. Their competent activity due to the charter of those structures․ They are very  binding and strict with their requirements. Due to the establish of the Republic Reserves some areas could be save the integrity with their animals and natural systems. Each reserve depending on the location has its primary research and defense objectives․ In Khosrov Forest State Reserve they refer mainly to dry mountain-steppe systems covered with sparse juniper forests. 

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