The reservoir was created in 1956-1957, thereby flooding tugai forests in the Kura river basin. Reedbeds have grown up along the western and eastern shores and there is also some Tamarix on islands. The reservoir water is used for various purposes; there are fish-ponds, and hunting takes place in autumn and winter.
The site supports a range of breeding waterbirds: herons, Plegadis falcinellus, Porphyrio porphyrio, terns. Egretta alba and Phalacrocorax carbo bred in dead trees standing in the reservoir until 1962. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (rare winter visitor). Up to 7,000-8,000 waterbirds (ducks and Fulica atra) winter, Larus ichthyaetus occurs rarely in the same season; Larus minutus is a rare, non-breeding summer visitor.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Varvara Reservoir. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/08/2020.