The lower foothills of the Great Caucasian mountains, with a few patches of broadleaved forest (mainly in the central part), with bushes and scrub in the river valleys. Land-uses include sheep- and cattle-grazing and some cultivation/arable farming.
A wintering area for Tetrax tetrax, most of which occur outside the Game Reserve. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus (visitor throughout the year, formerly bred), Circus macrourus (non-breeding summer visitor), Aquila heliaca (breeds), Falco naumanni (status uncertain, probably breeds), Crex crex (common on passage in some years), Otis tarda (extremely rare on migration and in winter). Among breeding raptors are Milvus migrans, Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter brevipes and Aquila pomarina, while Aquila nipalensis is common on passage. Phasianus colchicus and Alectoris chukar are very common; Francolinus francolinus is rare.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are poaching of Tetrax tetrax and Phasianus colchicus, excessive grazing in some areas and illegal tree-felling (`Other' threat).
National Partial International NoneAbout half of the IBA is covered by a Game Reserve.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sheki upland. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2021.