Khosrov Reserve

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The Khosrov Reserve lies in a central part of southern Armenia. The terrain is rather complicated. The entire area is typically alpine, densely traversed by primary and side-gorges, high plateaus and inter-montane depressions, massive towering mountain ranges, volcanic expanses and isolated mountain peaks. Two alpine rivers, the Azat and Verdi, with tributaries and a small lake (0.3 ha) are within the IBA. The area extends over four landscape zones: desert/semi-desert, mountain steppe, woodland, and alpine and subalpine meadows, though much valuable high-altitude habitat (meadow steppe on plateaus and rocky areas) lies outside the reserve.

Key biodiversity
At least 156 species have been recorded and 76 of these have been proved to breed. An outstanding site for raptors, with at least 21 species breeding and three possibly breeding, including Aquila chrysaetos, A. pomarina, Circaetus gallicus, Accipiter brevipes and, uniquely in Armenia, a small relict population of Aegolius funereus. A colony of Apus melba in Azat Gorge numbers some 2,000 birds. Among other breeding birds are Dendrocopos medius, Oenanthe hispanica, Monticola saxatilis, M. solitarius and Bucanetes githagineus.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Fingers of grazing land 200-500 m wide and 1-5 km long penetrate into the reserve territory and herds are regularly driven through the reserve from adjacent farms. Until recently, there was hay- making and the collecting of fruit and seeds of edible, decorative and medicinal plants. Serious damage to the flora and fauna is caused by villagers resident in the reserve. There is also some poaching. The construction of tourist facilities, roads running through the reserve and the lack of a buffer zone are further causes for concern. A hydroelectric power-station, planned for a site on the Azat river within the reserve, would, it is believed, have a very detrimental affect on Khosrov and its wildlife.

Protected areas
National High International None29,196 ha of IBA covered by Strict Nature Reserve (Zapovednik) (Khosrov, 29,196 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khosrov Reserve. Downloaded from on 20/03/2023.