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Location Georgia, Kakheti
Central coordinates 45o 10.00' East  42o 10.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, B2, B3
Area 37,370 ha
Altitude 200 - 5,047m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description The site covers the entire eastern part of the Greater Caucasus in Georgia. Natural landscapes vary from riparian forests to high mountain peaks with glaciers. Lakes are found in the alpine zone of Lagodekhi Nature Reserve. The forests are predominantly deciduous, with tree species such as Fagus, Betula, Quercus, Carpinus, Castanea, also Tilia, Populus and some Pinus; Hippophae occurs along streams. Geologically, the site is mainly made up of Jurassic slates, sandstone, conglomerates and clay with Cretaceous sediments. The eastern part of the site is well cultivated. The site encompasses Lagodekhi (site SU069 in the previous pan-European IBA inventory: Grimmett and Jones 1989).

Key Biodiversity The site is of global importance for Caucasian endemic birds such as Tetraogallus caucasicus, whose entire population is restricted to the Great Caucasus range, and for near-endemics such as Tetrao mlokosiewiczi and Phylloscopus lorenzii, both of which occur in the Little and Great Caucasus ranges. The site supports seven out of the 10 species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the Eurasian high-montane biome˜a higher species complement than any other site on the continent. The site is also of European importance for its numbers of Gypaetus barbatus and Phoenicurus erythrogaster, and is nationally important as a wintering ground for various forest birds, as well as for Phalacrocorax pygmeus and Egretta alba, being also one of the most important sites in the country for Aquila chrysaetos and Dendrocopos medius. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Branta ruficollis (occurs on passage), Haliaeetus albicilla (possibly 1 breeding pair), Aegypius monachus (status uncertain; possibly breeds), Circus macrourus (winter). Other breeding raptors include Neophron percnopterus (16 pairs), Gyps fulvus (35 pairs) and seven species of owl; the status of Accipiter brevipes (reported from Lagodekhi) is uncertain. Grus grus and Anthropoides virgo pass through on migration and among typical mountain passerines at the site are Eremophila alpestris, Ptyonoprogne rupestris, Anthus spinoletta, Monticola saxatilis and Serinus pusillus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Caucasian Grouse Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi resident  1998  common  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Caucasian Snowcock Tetraogallus caucasicus resident  1998  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  1998  6 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca resident  1998  2 breeding pairs  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina breeding  1998  18 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  1998  14 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus resident  1998  10 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus resident  1998  35 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1998  frequent  A1  Least Concern 
Middle Spotted Woodpecker Leiopicus medius resident  1998  40 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  1998  15 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  1998  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  1998  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Semi-collared Flycatcher Ficedula semitorquata breeding  1998  5 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis resident  1998  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  1998  common  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Akhmeta Nature Reserve 16,297 protected area contained by site 16,297  
Kazbegi Nature Reserve 8,922 protected area contained by site 8,707  
Lagodekhi Nature Reserve 17,932 protected area contained by site 17,818  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Caves and subterranean habitats (non-aquatic) Caves  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

Protection status National Partial International None16,297 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) (Akhmeta, 16,297 ha). 8,707 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) (Kazbegi, 8,707 ha). 17,818 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) (Lagodekhi, 17,818 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Eastern Caucasus. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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