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.
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.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Many waterbirds, including Phalacrocorax pygmeus and Pelecanus onocrotalus are shot (legally or illegally) at Armash and other ponds because of the perceived conflict with fish-farming interests.
National None International None
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Armash fish-farm. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 30/10/2020.