Lake Arpi IBA


IBA Code (BirdLife Data Zone)  AM001
Location Shirak
IBA Criteria A4i, B1i
EMERALD Network Included
Area 3,871 ha
Altitude 2,010 - 2,015 m

Site description. Arpi reservoir, located in the very north-west of Armenia, evolved in the 1950s from the small Lake Arpi. Fed by thaws and four streams, it is the source of the Akhurian river. The landscape is mountain steppe with mostly grassy alpine vegetation. The site is adjacent to wetlands. In spring the reservoir floods, and water covers an area of 20 km2 and two islands (2 and 4 ha) form. By autumn, when the lake waters are used for irrigation, the shores of the two islands merge.

Key biodiversity. More than 100 species have been observed around Lake Arpi. Of special concern is the large breeding colony of Larus armenicus; 7,000-10,000 pairs are known to breed on the two islands, comprising 60% of the population in Armenia. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Pelecanus crispus (breeding every 2-5 years, juveniles visiting annually).

Trigger species. Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis)

Protection status. National - None. International - High.

2.000 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Lake Arpi, 2.000 ha).

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