This time scientists and environmentalists are struggling for one of the unique caves in Armenia - Magel Cave, which is located in Noravanq Gorge, Vayots Dzor Region, and is famous for its rich biodiversity, red-listed and IUCN-registered species. It’s the largest cave in Armenia, while the Culture Ministry intends to give this historical and cultural monument on lease, which endangers the unique biodiversity of the cave.
“In 2008 we had to close the entrance of the cave with a gate to keep it free from external hazards. We launched a struggle with the Culture Ministry and local Municipality. We have been struggling long to leave the cave alone, and now again the Culture Ministry is going to give it on lease to somebody,” said Mamikon Ghasabyan, Laboratory Head of Vertebrates Zoology, Institute of Zoology of NAS RA, on 22 January at the press conference held at EcoLur press club. Under Mamikon Ghasabyan, the number of bats in the cave has reduced by 60-70%.
“Magel Cave is one of unique caves in Armenia, where biodiversity is fine and can easily be damaged,” said Professor Eduard Yavruyan, specialist in wing-handed animals, “The cave used to have five red-listed species, out of which one has got extinct.”
Sevak Baloyan, Head of Zooresource Management Department of Biological Resource Agency Management of Nature Protection Ministry, noted that the problem with Magel Cave arose still in 2010. “This project was submitted for the environmental expertise to the Ministry. As a result, the environmental expertise tables some conditions, but no news.”
18:14 January 22, 2014