Conflict of Man and Beasts: Armenian wildlife in danger of extinction

ARMENIA NOW – ARPI HARUTYUNYAN

According to data of the Research Center for Zoology and Hydro-Ecology, about 60 percent of wild animal life in Armenia is threatened.

“The major threats to biodiversity are directly or indirectly connected with human influence. The major processes threatening it are the loss of living environment and its change, overuse of biological resources, pollution, etc. All these threats minimize the population of the flora and the fauna, and cause loss of species, degradation of landscapes and ecosystems,” the annual report of the Ministry of Environmental Protection says.

The “Red Book” of endangered plants and animals puts 387 species of plants and 99 species of vertebrates of Armenia in danger. The international “Red Data List” puts only 1 and 28 respectively. (It is possible that one animal species disappears in Armenia, but survives in large quantity in other countries of the world, and vice versa. Consequently, the discrepancy in numbers.)

Mher Sharoyan, coordinator of public relations of the Armenian Forests NGO says: “Detailed zoological studies show about 40 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have either vanished or are on the verge of disappearing within the last 2-3 decades.”

The gray-necked pochard has disappeared altogether, the panther is on the brink of disappearance, mouflon (sheep), Bezoar goat (ibex), gray bear are also in jeopardy. Also extinct or in danger are such species as alpine turkey, golden eagle, steppe eagle, flamingo, black stork, forest cat, bear, and others.

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