The Lichen Conservation and Education Initiative in Armenia

23 Oct 2015 Dilijan National Park, Armenia, Asia Ecotourism | Education | Plants

Arsen Gasparyan


Other projects

3 Sep 2012

Assessment of the Epiphytic Lichen Biota and its Conservation Needs in the “Dilijan” National Park

19 Mar 2018

Research and Conservation of Epiphytic Lichens in the Several Important Plant Areas of Armenia

The Lichen Conservation and Education Initiative" is aimed to promote conservation of lichen diversity and raising of environmental awareness via introducing visual resources for conservation education and ecotourism in Armenia (particularly in the "Dilijan" National Park).

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Armenia is known as an important biodiversity "hotspot" and priority area for conservation action. The "Dilijan" National Park is famous for its temperate forest landscapes, beautiful lakes and rich cultural heritage. It is situated in the north-eastern part of Armenia and occupies about 33700 ha. The main aim of the park is to protect mesophytic forests and some tertiary relict species. The previous studies of the "Dilijan" National Park, supported by the Rufford Foundation revealed more than 80 epiphytic lichen species inhabiting the area. It is about fifty percent of currently known epiphytic lichen flora of Armenia.

The project activities will include:

a/ Preparation and publication of the illustrated guidebook about the epiphytic macrolichens of the temperate forests in Armenia.

b/ Posting of 7 informational guide-boards in the adjacent area of ecotourism trails of the "Dilijan" National Park. We are going to prepare and to post bilingual informational guide-boards about epiphytic lichens, and forest-forming tree species of the NP. The guide-boards will also have an QR code for possibility to obtain additional information from www.lichenology.am.

c/ Creation of educational section in the secondary schools of city of the Dilijan. The sections will consist of stands about biodiversity of the NP, tablet which will give an opportunity to use resources (tutorial, identification key etc.) of our website www.lichenology.am, as well as simple information about study methods for amateurs and some lichen specimens. The sections will be presented for schoolchildren and youth.

d/ Creation of the lichen exhibition area in Yerevan Botanical Garden. The several collected specimens of epiphytic and saxicolous lichens as well as lichens inhabiting trees in the garden will be presented in Yerevan Botanical Garden. The informational stand and signs with bilingual description of the species will be accompanied by specimens. The section will be presented to the public and visitors of the garden, who will be able to get acquainted with lichens of Armenia.

e/ Implementation conservation education campaign. The above mentioned educational and informational activities will be accompanied by presentations for the public, dissemination of results via local media, social and environmental networks. The 5 educational trainings on lichens and field visits will be organized for local students and schoolchildren. During the field visits, the competition on identification lichens in the nature for participants will be organized and the winners will receive the prizes.

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