Syrian brown bear cub at Armenian camera trap


This video says about itself:

Surprised bear cub in Armenia

17 July 2015

A young Syrian Brown Bear is surprised by a camera trap but soon musters enough courage to take a closer look.

From Wildlife Extra about this:

Rare footage of a Syrian Brown Bear surprised by a camera trap in Armenia

A rare young Syrian Brown Bear was taking a walk in the woods of Armenia’s Caucasus Wildlife Refuge when he came across a camera trap that first startled and then intrigued him.

The rare footage was caught by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) on a camera installed with funding from the World Land Trust (WLT).

There are only around 150 Syrian Brown Bears surviving in Armenia and the populations are being monitored and their behaviour studied with the help of the camera traps.

In the Caucasus Refuge there are thought to be as few as two or three bears, which is also home to Bearded Vultures, Bezoar Goats and the endangered Caucasian Leopard.

The main threat facing Syrian Brown Bears in the area are habitat loss to agriculture, mining and quarries, and conflict with farmers over bee hives and fruit growing.

Two new areas of mountain habitat were recently purch[a]sed with the help of WLT, to further extend the potential safe havens for the bears.

Improve Turkish-Armenian relations, Dutch parliament says


Turkey and Armenia

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

The Dutch government must continue to call on the Turkish government to seek rapprochement with Armenia and to seek reconciliation. An overwhelming majority of parliament voted for a motion to that effect. Only the PVV and the Kuzu-Öztürk group voted against.

Geert Wilders‘ xenophobic PVV party hates everyone who is supposedly ‘racially impure’, whether that person is from Poland, Romania, Turkey, Armenia, Morocco or Suriname.

The Kuzu-Öztürk group are two MPs of Turkish ancestry, elected for the PvdA party (junior partner in the Dutch coalition government). They split from the PvdA because of differences on various issues (eg, they are more sympathetic to the Erdogan government in Turkey than the PvdA is).

The immediate reason for the motion is the commemoration of the Armenian genocide on April 24th.

Bird paradise in Armenia in danger


This 28 May 2013 video from Armenia says about itself:

Pan of one of the many fish ponds at Armash showing large numbers of White-winged Black Terns, Coots and Pygmy Cormorants, 9th May 2013.

From BirdLife:

Beautiful bird paradise in Armenia at risk after misuse of water resources

By Alessia Calderalo, Wed, 26/11/2014 – 08:54

Imagine a place where the Armenian, Turkish, Iranian and Azerbaijani borders converge on the banks of the Araks River, a place home to 220 bird species, a place full of water, plants and animals. This place, well known for its natural richness and beauty, is the Armash, one of the 18 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) in Armenia and among one the richest ornithological hotspots in the Caucasus. Sadly, it has recently been declared in danger.

Originally, Armash IBA was a semi desert area, but thanks to a series of man-made changes and the introduction of fish farming practices, the IBA developed a unique assemblage of habitats including water channels and ponds with wetland vegetation that gave the area its great conservation value. Armash is home to Globally Threatened species like Marbled Teal and White-headed Duck, and hosts rarities like Eurasian Spoonbill and the graceful White-tailed Lapwing, which cannot be found elsewhere in Armenia.

Armash was recognised as an IBA of global importance due to its exceptional natural richness and its importance for migratory birds that cross its national borders during Spring and Autumn. Unfortunately, over the last decade, water resources have been misused and the water springs used for drinking and irrigation in the villages of Ararat province have begun to dry up the area, threatening its unique wildlife.

The Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds (ASPB; BirdLife Partner) has been working for several years to save the area. The organisation has collaborated with the US Embassy, USAID and the Armenian Nature Protection Ministry to find solutions [for] its conservation. As a result of this collaboration, several alternative schemes of channelling water to Armash fish ponds have been proposed and developed.

However, despite these efforts, the water crisis persists and many ponds in the Armash IBA are quickly drying out, and are being replaced by farming lands. This is creating a transformation of the whole ecosystem in the area. Which gives an alarming prospective; if the authorities do not tackle the issue of waste water by adopting and implementing more restrictive laws, it is likely that species such as Marbled Teal will disappear.

ASPB hopes that the Armash IBA will be preserved as the natural paradise it has been for many years, and that the surrounding countries will actively contribute to this conservation.

For more information, please contact Tsovinar Hovhannisyan, Conservation Officer at ASPB.

Over 40% of marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (marine IBAs) in Europe are not protected, and two thirds of EU countries only protect 3% or less of their marine area (Territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zones). These are some of the shocking findings of Birdlife’s report “Marine Natura 2000 Progress Assessment released today. The report assessed the progress of 23 EU coastal countries in designating Special Protection Areas, using as reference BirdLife’s marine IBAs: here.

Armenian leopards win vote


This video from Armenia says about itself:

Caucasian Leopard in the Caucaus Wildlife Refuge – Daytime

29 August 2013

Camera-trap footage of a Caucasian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor), from WLT’s Armenian partner FPWC (Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets).

Further proof of the leopard‘s presence in the CWR and FPWC’s successful conservation work.

From Wildlife Extra:

Saving Armenia’s leopard wins £25,000 grant

The World Land Trust’s project, Saving Armenia’s Leopard – has won a grant of £25,000 from National Geographic Germany. In an online poll organised by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) during the second half of March 2014, more than 52,000 votes were cast for 17 conservation projects all vying for funding.

WLT’s conservation partner in Armenia, Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) will use the grant (approximately £25,000) to preserve habitat for the endangered caucasian leopard.

This sub species of leopard is registered as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and has a total population of no more than 1,300. The caucasian leopard’s stronghold is in Iran, where it is known as the Persian Leopard, but in Armenia there may be as few as 15 individuals remaining.

FPWC will use the grant to strengthen existing research and monitoring of this little studied and endangered predator. Funds will also be used to restore degraded mountainsides with a programme to plant 4,000 trees and to develop sustainable tourism initiatives with local communities.

Thanking all supporters, Ruben Khachatryan, FPWC’s founding Director, said: “Community development is a crucial cornerstone in our effort to protect the Caucasian Leopard. In Armenia most villages located in remote mountainous areas suffer from extreme poverty, triggering illegal logging for firewood on steep mountain slopes, over collection of wild edible crops, unsustainable livestock grazing and, of course, poaching. These human activities destroy the habitat of the Caucasian Leopard and many other rare species.

“FPWC’s Rural Eco-tourism programme – as well as the reforestation measures – addresses these problems and we are more than happy that the grant will help us not only to intensify our research and monitoring of the leopard but also to develop new income opportunities for the local population.”

South Africa: A legend of a leopard (the Dumatau male): here.

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