In the framework of the “Recognize Armenian Monuments” project implemented by AMAP, a Bird Trail in Armenia was launched in Surenavan village, by the renowned Armash fishponds at the foot of Mount Ararat.
The attractive multilingual panels and highway directional signs covering the vast majority of Armenia’s 350 bird species promise the visitors an exceptional bird watching experience throughout Armenia. AMAP’s partner for the Bird Trail was the Ministry for Culture and the Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds (ASPB) which compiled and contributed information for the panels.
The Bird Trail is part of AMAP’s 2009 Natural Monument series and four locations are featured on the “Armenian Bird Trail”– Armash, Uranots, Litchk and Norashen. Not many people are aware of how rich bird fauna Armenia has - over 350 species of birds striking for their colors and diversity choose Armenia for their habitat, nesting and wintering location. The program aims to raise awareness of Armenia’s natural wonders, along with its cultural and historical monuments, facilitate tourist and birder access to the sites, and promote Armenia as a natural tourism destination.
Armash fishponds are one of the Caucasus’ richest ornithological hotspots and the only place that boasts such an extensive concentration of birdlife in Armenia. The diversity of birds that call this magical place home is impressive, with about 220 different species. It is also the habitat that provides the main entry point for most migratory water birds that cross the national borders. On sunny days bird lovers can witness an amazing scenery of colors and sounds.
Lake Sevan is an Important Bird Area (IBA) of international importance which serves as a stopover point for many migratory water birds and shorebirds during their lengthy journey at spring and fall migrations. Norashen Reserve was established to protect a unique breeding ground of Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus) - the ‘Gull Island’. Colonies of Armenian Gull here make up a significant proportion of the entire species population of the Asia Minor.
Lichk Reserve is a pair of small lakes fed by a river and has a high concentration of water and wetland dependent birds.
The Uranots area incorporates almost the entire set of landscape habitats which occur in the eco-zone between semi-desert and mountain steppe. Nearly vertical rocky outcrops, open juniper woodlands, stunted deciduous trees, shrubby thickets and hillsides covered with scanty grass vegetation and sparse growths of Astragalus attract bird species like Griffon Vulture and Lammergeier, Chukar and others.
The official part of the presentation was followed by a guided 30 minute birding tour which was organized by ASPB and the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Marie L. Yovanovitch was among the prominent guests attending the presentation and the tour. This project is funded by the Armenia’s leading mobile operator VivaCell-MTS, USAID/CAPS and the Honorary Italian Consul for Italy in Gyumri.