lagodekhi protected area

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  • Lagodekhi protected area

Lagodekhi Protected Areas are located in the most northeastern part of Georgia, in the Lagodekhi District. This includes the Lagodekhi Strict Nature Reserve and Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve along the southern slopes of the main range of the Great Caucasus. The height of the Protected Areas varies within 400-3500 m above sea level.

Lagodekhi is a very rich district. It is characterized with temperate humid subtropical climate. The reserve is abounded in water. The Ninoskhevi, Shromiskhevi, Lagodekhistskali and Matsimistskali are the main rivers originating in the high mountains and creating many water cascades and waterfalls, which then flow quietly in the lower zone of the forest.

In the Lagodekhi alpine zone, one can meet several very nice lakes of glacial origin; the largest of them is the Black Cliff Lake, the depth of which reaches 14 m. It is located on the Russian-Georgian border.

Treasure of Lagodekhi Protected Areas is its nature. There is an alternation of vertical zoning and habitats in this vast territory. The level of endemic species is amazing. 121 species of Lagodekhi flora are endemic to Caucasus and 9 – endemic to Georgia. Among the lasts, 7 species are endemic to Kakheti or they are local endemic species of Protected Areas. Lagodekhi is famous for its very well preserved beech and hornbeam virgin forests.

In the Strict Nature Reserve the most widespread plant type is a beech forest, though in the Protected Areas one can find the alder-groves, hornbeam groves, small tracts of Georgian oak and mixed deciduous forests, as well as the maple groves and high-mountain oak groves. In the subalpine zone the birch forest is widespread with the shrubbery of Caucasian rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasica).

In rich and diverse habitat of flora the representatives of rich and beautiful fauna are widespread as well. 126 species of vertebrates are described here, out of which the 4 species of fish, 5 – of amphibians, 12 – of reptiles, 150 – of birds and 53 species of mammals are widespread. Lagodekhi Strict Nature Reserve and Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve are rich in fauna of invertebrates as well, but it is not researched completely.

Lagodekhi Protected Areas are inhabited by endangered and threatened species included in the Red List of Georgia such as: chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), East Caucasian tur (Capra cylindricornis), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), its only several population have been remained in Georgia, Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and Wild boar (Sus scrofa).

Among carnivore lynx (Lynx lynx) and Gray wolf (Canis lupus) are distinguished, as well as the Brown bear (Ursus arctos) – included in the Georgia’s Red List.

Among birds the raptors attract your attention, without which the Lagodekhi Strict Nature Reserve and Lagodekhi Managed Nature Reserve are unimaginable. Here inhabit Lammergeyer or Bearded vulture (Gypaetos barbatus), Imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca), Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinis), Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and Steppe eagle (Aquilla nipalensis).

Among the Caucasian endemic birds Caucasian Black grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi) and Caucasian Snowcock are widespread in Lagodekhi (Tetraogalus caucasicus).

There are many pre-Christian ruins of houses and crypts in Lagodekhi District. The most important discoveries of Bronze Age were made on the territory of the village of Ulianovka. Monuments of early Christian and mid centuries were found in Lagodekhi and its surroundings. Some of them, like the Machi (Tamari's) castle are located in the territory of the Strict Nature Reserve. The 11th century St. Tevdore’s Church, ruins of the 8th century Lakuasta’s castle, Churches of Poni, Areshperani and Khoshta and ruins of early Christian and mid centuries buildings and bridges are located near the Protected Areas.

Information about places to visit in Georgia and Georgia tourist attractions. 

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