Lake Ritsa and the wooded slopes (forest predominantly of Abies and Fagus) surrounding it on the southern spurs of the Great Caucasus range. There are also small areas of meadows, and deep river gorges.
The avifauna includes at least two of the 10 species in Europe that are restricted (when breeding) to the Eurasian high-montane biome. A total of 110 species was recorded at the site in the early 1980s; at least 69 species breed, including Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus, Aquila chrysaetos, Falco peregrinus, Bubo bubo and other owls, as well as woodpeckers. Predominant in the subalpine zone are Anthus spinoletta, Carduelis flavirostris and Carpodacus erythrinus. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Aegypius monachus (occurs).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ritsa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/01/2023.