02 Jun 2020

The biodiversity of Lake Gosh

Lake Gosh is located in a forested area in one of the north-eastern massifs of the former Dilijan reserve. There are about more than ten big and small lakes, which of located on the northern slopes of the Areguni mountain range (Parz, Tzrka, etc.) and in the southern foothills of the Miapor mountain range, near the villages of Gyolkent and Chaikent. There are more sources especially on the slopes of the Areguni and Pambak mountain ranges. Here the average surface water flow is up to 10, the maximum is 100-200 liters per square meter. km.

There are less lakes in Armenia. The lakes mostly small and highland, except Lake Sevan. We should also mention Lake Arpi, Lake Kari, lake Akna, lake Ayghr and Black Lake.

The Lake Gosh located in the middle forest zone zone at an altitude of 1100-1600 m. In these zone are typical forests with Georgian oak, of which northern slopes are eastern beech, and on the southern slopes a number of subtropical bushes․

In the Gray Lake lived Tachybabtus ruficollis, Fulica atra, Alcedo atthis, Gallinule choropus, and several types of Rallus aguaticus, Ardea alba. During the migration  were also observed small groups of Grus grus. Nowadays mostly from them have disappeared cause of anthropogenic factor of water pollution, except Tachybabtus ruficollis․ because of eutrophication of Lake Gosh The floor is polluted with various types of plastic and other things. One of the reasons for the disappearance of these birds are reduction of 80-90% of shrubs. Now the state of the lake needs sanitary, biological, physical treatment, internal and external water flow regulation as a as a haven for birds.

These measures will contribute to the restoration of the former state of the pool, the improvement of the flora and fauna of the water. The coastal species have survived motacilla citreola, motacilla alba, motacilla cinerea, cincluscinclus, phoenicurus phoenicurus, ptyonoprogne rupestris, riparia riparia hirundo rustica and etc…but there are about 140 species. One of the biological means is import on the lake A species of fish named Amur sleeper. It will clean the Lake Gosh.

At one time, this issue was even discussed in the UN office, and this kind of cleansing must be involved.

In the nearest forests from animals you can meet the gray bear, goat, persian squirrel, marten, fox, mole, weasel, hedgehogs, bats․

                                                                                                              Author the president of “Center of bird lovers’’ NGO Silva Adamyan

                                                                                                                                                                          Photo by Silva Adamyan

26 May 2020

The level of the study of Armenian fauna

The fauna of Armenia is unique and diverse. There are 500 species of vertebrate and 17.000 invertebrate species․ The regular study of the fauna of Armenia has started In the 20-30s of the XX century․  The results of the research were published in a monograph (more than 100), including 12 volumes of fauna, as well as collections of republican and international conferences․ Published ’’Bulletin of Agricultural Crops, Forest and Warehousing Pests of Armenia’’ (1976), and Red Book of Armenian animals (1987): It should be mentioned, that the study of different groups was not done equally. At present, we can only talk about the approximate number of the species of invertebrates․ Most of the work in biodiversity is done at the species level․ There are few studies of fauna ecosystems and fauna at the level of landscapes and ecosystems.

Well-studied aquatic ecosystems are better in terms of overall research․ The study of the zoocomplexes of animals living in the soil and their formation has begun․ The complete biochemical studies have not been performed in our country. That’s why we need the cooperation of specialists and the development of new approaches. The biodiversity researches of the genetic level are also few in our country.

There are 153 species of vertebrate animals in the Red book of Armenia (Osteichthyes – 7 species, Amphibia – 2 species, Reptilia – 19 species, Aves– 96 species and Mammalia – 29 species). The first time there included 155 invertebrate species (16 species of Gastropoda and 139 species of insects).

Specially protected areas contribute to biodiversity protection. At present we have 3 state reserve( “Khosrov forest”, “sShikahox”,and “Erebuni” -totally  30 hectares) 4 national park Lake of Arpi” Arevik, Sevan and Dillijan -totally  236.690 hectares, and 27 state sanctuary, 232 state monument,  of which total area is 376.252 hectares. Their common area is the republic 10․3%, which   147343 hectares are the Lake Sevan area.

From the 27  state sanctuary (89442 hectares)  only Ararat red worm sanctuary (200 hectares) has specially protected area regime, but it doesn’t protect insect properly. Others are preserved as forestries․ The crossing of protected borders is a big obstacle for protection․ Thus, taking all this into account, it becomes clear that the area of specially protected areas does not correspond to the indicated numbers and does not provide biodiversity protection.

Taking into account all the information mentioned above, we propose to take the following steps to improve biodiversity monitoring.

      1.Develop the concept of Armenia’s biodiversity monitoring.

  1. Develop a biodiversity monitoring procedure
  2. Separate indicators for monitoring.

Studies in the field of biodiversity will allow to have a basis for the biodiversity of Armenia in the future. 

22 May 2020

Armenian biodiversity

On 22 May the whole world celebrates the International Day for Biological Diversity. The aim of International Biodiversity Day is Biodiversity conservation in society and raising awareness of the dangers that threaten it, the adoption of innovative decisions at the community and national levels, etc. The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by 193 countries, including Armenia in 1993. It says that states are responsible for the protection of their biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological resources.

Despite its small area, Armenia has a rich biodiversity. About 3.500 species of high-quality flowering plants, more than 17.500 species of animals have been found in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, about 500 of which are vertebrates. About 155 species of vertebrates, 155 species of invertebrates, and more than 675 plants are registered in the RA Red Book.

At present the problems in Armenia's biodiversity are still worrying. In our country, tree felling continues to be a serious environmental problem. As before, there are a number of cases of illegal tree felling, which poses a serious threat to the protection of green areas. Recently, there were a number of large-scale fires in our country, which also had a serious impact on forest protection.

Lake Sevan, is endangered due to the unprofessional and careless attitude of both the society and the government. At summer, 2019 due to the large number of omissions from the lake and a number of other circumstances flowering process was recorded in the lake.

HPPs used to obtain alternative energy also have a detrimental effect on the environment. The ecosystem of the river basin is overloaded due to densely built small HPPs. The load is also increased by irrigation systems that take water from rivers. The river basin is potentially rich in various fish species, including endemic and red. Most of the small HPPs are incorrectly constructed, and the fishing nets are dumpsters. As a result, the fish are unable to lay eggs, and as they pass through the net, they end up in the SHPP turbine.

One of the problems of biodiversity in the environment is the mining industry in Armenia.Recently, with the efforts of environmentalists in the mining sector, progress has been made against the exploitation of the Amulsar mine. However, the problems related to the mining industry are urgent.

It should be noted, that  one of the serious problems in Armenia is poaching. Often the victims of poaching are Red book animals. You can often meet a number of wild animals kept in inconsolable conditions in restaurants and other places of entertainment. It is also risky that wild animals are imported to Armenia for various purposes. For example, dolphins kept in Gyumri are in a deplorable state, because our country does not have established norms for keeping dolphins․ Recently, animal lovers organized a petition to stop the use of animals in circuses and other places of entertainment.

Actually, quarantine has been declared in many countries in connection with the coronavirus infection. To everyone's surprise, when people in different parts of the world are isolated, the environment has surprisingly begun to clear itself of the harmful effects of the human factor. In different parts of Armenia, there are an active movement of different species of animals, such as castors, squirrels, օtters and birds.

Thus, one of the serious ecological problems of the 21st century is the protection of biodiversity. Despite a number of environmental measures in various countries, the role of society in protection of biodiversity is very important. It is necessary not only to show a responsible, caring attitude towards the environment, but also to educate the future generations on environment. 

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