International Day for Biological Diversity was celebrated on 22 May worldwide. The UN General Assembly declared International Day for Biological Diversity on 20 December 2000. The loss of biodiversity in Armenia is huge and there are a lot of reasons for this such as loss of habitat for animals and plants, poaching, fire, natural disasters, diseases, mining and SHHP operation. For example, wild boars got completely extinct in Armenia several years ago because of African swine fever. Only recently we could observe their reproduction. “We hope that this animal species will again recover its number, as it’s an important source of forage for other disappearing species such as leopard,” said WWF Armenia Director Karen Manvelyan at EcoLur Press Club on 22 May.
SHHPs cause extinction of fish. For example, the press already publishes that no fish can be found in Martz River, Lori Region, where several SHHPs operate.
“Recently I read an article, which says there is no fish in Martz River. But Armenia doesn’t have a river without fish. I have there many times, swum there and saw with my own eyes how much fish swim there... But if it continues like this, sure no fish will be left in Armenia,” Karen Manvelyan said. Speaking about red-listed animals Karen Manvelyan said, “The tendency is very obvious during these five years and the population of certain species increase. This is true both about bezoar goats, and mouflons and bears, the population of which is rather stable in Armenia.”
Other happy news is the observation of a pregnant leopard in Armenia. “This is a very good sign: it means we have another reproducing family in Armenia, which is a rather good result,” said Karen Manvelyan.
Despite the recorded positive tendency the biodiversity in Armenia keeps on remaining serious. The number of species on the verge of extinction has increased in the Red Book of Armenia – 452 species of higher plants versus previous 387 and 156 vertebrates versus previous 99.
19:02 May 23, 2013