Shikahogh State Preserve

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Shikahogh State Preserve is Armenia’s second largest forest reserve, covering some 100 km² (25,000 acres) of land, and located in southern Armenia in the Syunik Province. Environmentalists have said it has been largely unaffected by Armenia’s massive post-Soviet deforestation due to its remote location and care shown by residents of nearby villages.

The “Shikahogh” reserve is habitat for about 1,100 species of plants, 70 of which have been registered in the Red Book of Armenia and 18 in the Red Book of the Soviet Union. The fauna of Shikahogh has not been fully explored, but studies have already revealed rare species of animals such as leopard, bezoar, bear, snowcock, viper, and hedgehog.[1][2]

Highway controversy[edit]

Shikahogh is the only place where the forest remains intact. It is home to unique species considered to be the wealth of not only Armenia but the whole world as well.[3]

According to Social-Ecological Association Chairwoman Srbuhi Harutyunyan, trees in Mtnadzor were not logged only because they were beyond reach, but in this case the Mtnadzor forests are facing the threat of logging.

“Countries lacking in natural raw materials are eyeing our natural raw materials, and this is the only preserved unique forest, which is very dense and very useful and one can prepare various things from the raw material available here,” says Artemis Lepejyan, the Chairwoman of the Saint Sandukht Women’s Union. “The whole policy consists in the fact that they are ready to spend millions on this road, because they will make billions on it.” [4]

If the highway is constructed the preserve will be split in two and besides the fact that large trucks will be passing through it polluting and disturbing the course of regular life in the reserve, but will also become a reachable place for poachers and loggers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Igor G. Khorozyan, Pavel I. Weinberg and Alexander G. Malkhasyan: Conservation Strategy for Armenian Mouflon (Ovis orientalis gmelini Blyth) and Bezoar Goat (Capra aegagrus Erxleben) in Armenia. in Status and Protection of globally threatened Species in the Caucasus. CEPF Biodiversity Investments in the Caucasus Hotspot 2004-2009. Edited by Nugzar Zazanashvili and David Mallon (2009).online PDF
  2. ^ Armenia Tree Project - Environmental News and Analysis
  3. ^ World Wildlife Fund Caucasus Program Office National Director Karen Manvelyan.
  4. ^ Artemis Lepejyan, the Chairwoman of the Saint Sandukht Women’s Union

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°02′N 46°27′E / 39.04°N 46.45°E / 39.04; 46.45