Monday, January 22, 2018

protected areas and National Parks of Georgia

 

Tusheti National Park

The Tusheti National Park, as part of the Eastern Caucasus was established in 2003. Perfect for hikers, it possesses spectacular mountain landscape reaching up to 4,800m, where splendid alpine meadows, lakes and extremely well-preserved pine forests lay.
Since April 2003, the Protected Areas of Tusheti include a 10,694 hectar (ha) Nature Reserve, a 83,453 (ha) National Park and a 27,903 (ha) Protected Landscape.
The National Park is home to a variety of rare and endangered animal species. It also possesses endemic plant relics, unique pine forests and a variety of forest-forming species, such as birch and high-mountain oak (Quercus marcanthera, Sorbus caucasigena and Salix carpea). Some mammals inhabiting this area include the Caucasian endemic subspecies which include the Caspian sea wolf, Caucasian lynx, Caucasian chamois and species of both East and West Caucasian tur. Protecting the remarkable wild goat was one of main goals in creating the Tusheti Nature Reserve. The bird species are varied and remarkable and include the lammergeier,  Caucasian black grouse, Caucasian snowcock and pheasant to name a few. And if that weren't enough the mysterious, and thought to be extinct leopard presumably lives in this Park.On designated tourist trails visitors can explore this mountainous park by foot, horse or vehicle.Since 2003, the Park has been protecting and preserving the historic Tusheti villages which border the Park. Visitors can experience these charming villages (Diklo, Shenako, Dartlo, Kvavlo, etc.) where unique monuments of cultural legacy still stand.

Lagodekhi National Park

Lagodechi National Park is located on the southern slope of the Eastern Caucasus in Kacheti and offers nature lovers hiking through its untouched natural ecosystems, with beautiful lakes and splendid waterfalls. The National Park is home to many endemic species of flora and fauna, including rare plant species such as Mlokosevich's beautiful peony flower (Paeonia mlokosiewiczi), Lagodekhi's peony (P. lagodechiana), Primula juliae, Gymnospermium smirnowi. The Park is also home to Brown Bear, wolf, lynx, chamois, roe deer, red deer, East Caucasian tur and wild boar, as well as a variety of birds such as lammergeier, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and Caucasian snowcock. Among amphibians there is the endemic Caucasian parsley frog. Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve was designated in April 2003, with total area of 1,996 ha. It is located between settlements to the south and the Lagodekhi Nature Reserve to the north and consists of a wide network of trails, connecting the forests and alpine meadows. Visitors can travel by foot or horse along the tourist trails.

Vashlovani National Park

Vashlovani State Nature Reserve, located in the Easternmost pary of Georgia, was established in 1935 to preserve its unique, arid shallow forests. In April of 2003 the Reserve's area was expanded to 8,480 ha and Vashlovani National Park (25,114 ha) was created. The area is characterized by its dry climate sitting only 150-50 meters above sea level. The National Park is notable for its unique, bad-land-like landscapes of desert and semi-desert steppe vegetation and arid and deciduous forests. It's also home to the remarkable cliffs-of-the-canyons, locally called the "Sharp Walls "and the magnificent Alazani flood plains and forests. Unique to Vashlovani is its indigenous pistachio and juniper trees.Vashlobvani supports variety of incredible animals such as leopard, striped hyena, brown bear, wolf, lynx, wild boar, as well as a variety of rare birds including the griffon vulture, black vulture, Egyptian vulture, little bustard and the rare black stork.The river Alazani running along the eastern part of the National Park offers visitors a great opportunities for year-around boating. However, visitors are welcome to explore the park by foot, horse or vehicle on designated tourist trails.