Assessment of Conservation Importance of Aragats Mountain of Armenia

Berta Martirosyan

The current network of Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Prime Butterfly Areas (PBA) of Armenia still requires further development for securing better coverage of Armenian fauna of birds and butterflies, and thus to better inform other national and international networks of the areas of special conservation concern. That is why assessment of new IBAs, and PBAs is critically important for timely identification of priority conservation zones.

Taking the described above into consideration, the current project plans assessment of conservation value of Aragats Mountain and delivery of the message on that importance to the Ministry of Environment of Armenia, Focal Points of relevant conventions, as well as to BirdLife International and Butterfly Conservation Europe.

By the end of the project, we expect the target area of Aragats mountain to be evaluated as PBA by Butterfly Conservation Europe and as IBA by BirdLife International. These results will be published as scientific article and will be communicated to the appropriate departments of the Ministry of Environment of Armenia, allowing signing an agreement between BirdLinks Armenia and Ministry of Environment on further protection of the area. Also, the project plans development of two videoclips, describing bird and butterfly species diversity of the area, and to broadcast the information through BirdLife International, European Bird Census Council, Butterfly Conservation Europe, IUCN SSC, 4,800 members of Armenian Ornithological Society and 670 members of Butterfly Conservation Armenia.

Evaluation of conservation importance of the target area will allow moving to the next steps of our five-year goal – development of Community Protected Landscape "Aragats Mountain" and elaboration of its management plan in cooperation between Ministry of Environment, local communities, and Civil Society Organizations.

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