Armash fish-farm IBA


IBA Code (BirdLife Data Zone)  AM004
Location Ararat
IBA Criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2
EMERALD Network Not included
Area 4,639 ha
Altitude 781 - 794 m
Site description. The Khosrov Reserve lies in a central part of southern Armenia. The terrain is rather complicated. The entire area is typically alpine, densely traversed by primary and side-gorges, high plateaus and inter-montane depressions, massive towering mountain ranges, volcanic expanses and isolated mountain peaks. Two alpine rivers, the Azat and Verdi, with tributaries and a small lake (0.3 ha) are within the IBA. The area extends over four landscape zones: desert/semi-desert, mountain steppe, woodland, and alpine and subalpine meadows, though much valuable high-altitude habitat (meadow steppe on plateaus and rocky areas) lies outside the reserve.
Key biodiverstiy. At least 156 species have been recorded and 76 of these have been proved to breed. An outstanding site for raptors, with at least 21 species breeding and three possibly breeding, including Aquila chrysaetos, A. pomarina, Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter brevipes and, uniquely in Armenia, a small relict population of Aegolius funereus. A colony of Apus melba in Azat Gorge numbers some 2,000 birds. Among other breeding birds are Dendrocopos medius, Oenanthe hispanica, Monticola saxatilis, M. solitarius and Bucanetes githagineus.

Site description Armash area is the largest fishery in the Araks valley of Armenia, with 1,514 ha covered by a total of 29 fish-ponds, each between 11 ha and 95 ha in size. The Araks valley is mainly semi-desert with extremely salty soils. The vegetation is basically halophytic, with mostly goosefoot Chenopodium, pepper-grass Lepidium, saltwort Salsola, camel's thorn Alhagi and bean caper Zygophyllum. Marshes, wetlands, channel shores and ponds are densely vegetated with reeds and forbs, mixed with Typha, Carex and sparse tamarisk.

Key Biodiversity The reedbeds cover edges of ponds, or grow in islet-shaped patches taking up approximately 30-50% of the water area, thus providing suitable cover and breeding places for grebes, cormorants, egrets/herons, rails, ducks and other birds.

Trigger species. Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca), White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Pygmy Cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus), Black-winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni).

Protection status. National - None. International - None.

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