|Central coordinates||43o 10.00' East 41o 35.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4iv, B1iv, B2|
|Altitude||700 - 2,963m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2005|
Ornithological information The avifauna includes at least two of the 10 species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the Eurasian high-montane biome. The site is of great significance for raptors, with at least 32 species recorded, and is one of the most important in the country for breeding species, notably Hieraaetus pennatus, Gyps fulvus (46 pairs in 1996) and others. There have been two recent records of Hieraaetus fasciatus (status uncertain). The site is an important migration bottleneck for raptors, some of which actually stage at the site rather than just passing through; species include Circaetus gallicus (common), Pernis apivorus, Milvus migrans, harriers Circus, Accipiter gentilis, Accipiter nisus, Accipiter brevipes, Aquila pomarina (frequent), Aquila nipalensis, Falco columbarius and Falco cherrug. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Circus macrourus (frequent on passage).
Site description Lying on Tertiary sediments and volcanic bedrock, this site represents a intermediate zone between the humid `kolkheti' of western Georgia and the dry mountain ranges of Anatolia (Turkey) and northern Iran. It abounds in relict and endemic species. The site includes the gorges of the Mtkvari (Kura) and Paravani rivers in southern Georgia.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Caucasian Grouse Tetrao mlokosiewiczi||resident||1996||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Near Threatened|
|Caspian Snowcock Tetraogallus caspius||resident||1996||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||unknown||1998||frequent [units unknown]||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus||unknown||1996||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus||passage||1998||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Short-toed Snake-eagle Circaetus gallicus||breeding||1998||uncommon [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus||resident||1998||frequent [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||passage||1996||frequent [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca||passage||1996||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos||resident||1998||4 breeding pairs||good||B2||Least Concern|
|Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor||breeding||1998||frequent [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus||breeding||1996||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Radde's Accentor Prunella ocularis||breeding||1996||frequent [units unknown]||-||B2||Least Concern|
|A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes||passage||1996-1998||-||poor||A4iv, B1iv|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Borjomi||Nature Reserve||17,948||protected area contained by site||17,948|
|Borjomi-Kharagauli||National Park||6,800||protected area contained by site||50,400|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland||-|
|Grassland||Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland||-|
|Wetlands (inland)||Rivers and streams; Water fringe vegetation||-|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves||-|
|Rocky areas||Inland cliffs; Scree & boulders||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
Management considerations The main threat is unsustainable hunting. A large part of the site's area is covered by the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park and the proposed Erusheti Protected Area, part of Georgia's protected-area system which is now being established, as is Javakheti Ramsar Site, Georgia's second site with this protection status. A management plan exists for this site.
Protection status National Partial International None17,948 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) (Borjomi, 17,948 ha). 50,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Borjomi-Kharagauli, 50,400 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Meskheti. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013
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