Broadleaved forests and scrub in the Astara-chai valley. When part of the Soviet Union, the area had been within the restricted border zone, requiring a special pass to enter (`Other' land-use).
The only area in Azerbaijan where the P.c. talishensis subspecies of Phasianus colchicus has a good chance of survival (up to 75 breeding pairs). Accipiter badius possibly breeds, though there have been no definite records since 1953. There are a number of restricted-range passerine subspecies. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Aquila pomarina (3+ pairs). Alcedo atthis, Coracias garrulus and Dendrocopos medius are all very common breeding birds. Milvus milvus is a rare visitor, especially in the winter, and possibly breeds.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Current threats include illegal tree-felling (`Other' threat) and poaching of Phasianus colchicus.