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Location Armenia, Ararat
Central coordinates 44o 45.94' East  39o 45.09' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 4,639 ha
Altitude 781 - 794m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds (Affiliate)

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  8-10 breeding pairs  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca breeding  25-30 breeding pairs  A1  Near Threatened 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca non-breeding  1995  1-700 individuals  A1, A4i, B1i  Near Threatened 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala breeding  4-6 breeding pairs  A1  Endangered 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus breeding  150-200 breeding pairs  A1, A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni breeding  8-10 breeding pairs  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Desert Semidesert  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  minor
Artificial - aquatic   major
Shrubland Scrub  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture major
hunting major
tourism/recreation minor

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Armash fish-farm. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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