Ancient broadleaved forests, mainly situated on the Ulyasy ridge, part of the Talysh mountains, but one small area (81 ha only) is in the lowlands. There is also a reservoir (400 ha).
Breeding birds include Ciconia nigra (probably still 1 pair), Hieraaetus pennatus (1+ pair), Otus scops and four woodpeckers, Dendrocopos syriacus and D. medius being common. Milvus milvus: status uncertain, mainly a very rare winter visitor. The site holds a good representation of restricted-range subspecies (chiefly passerines).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
All land-uses are prohibited. Some illegal tree-cutting and firewood-collection take place, but this was not deemed a threat, nor were other threats evident, in 1991. The Girkan goryhy formerly called Girkanskiy Zapovednik, founded in 1936, is the only real nature reserve in the Talysh mountains.
National Partial International None2,900 ha of IBA covered by Zapovednik (Girkan goryhy, 2,900 ha).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Girkan forest. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2022.