Broadleaved forests with bushes and scrub in the valley of the Vilajchai river, which flows eastwards from the Talysh mountains.
An important area for endemic subspecies of Phasianus colchicus P. c.talishensis (25+ pairs). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Ciconia nigra (2+ pairs). Other breeding species include Milvus migrans (common), Aquila pomarina and Hieraeetus pennatus, Alcedo atthis (very common), Coracias garrulus (common), woodpeckers and passerines. Milvus milvus is extremely rare in winter, Falco cherrug a rare winter visitor.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are intensive grazing, which prevents forest regeneration, poaching of Phasianus colchicus, and illegal tree-felling (`Other' threat).
National None International None
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vilajchai valley. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 17/01/2022.