Biodiversity of Kazbegi National Park
Kazbegi National Park landcover is represented by 1347 spcies, among them 26% are endemic plants. Here are alpine, subalpine, xerophytic and many other plants form environmental groups. Kazbegi National Park forests are located on steep slopes. There are 105 species of woody plants, but mainly there are Litvinov;s birch, Sosnovski pine, junipers and cranberries.
The number of woody species is large, but still forest backgrounds are formed by a few species. 2595 hectares of the forest is covered with birch groves, pine forests- 369 hectares, beech forests – 49 hectares, asp forests – 32 hectares, Cucasian rhododendrons – 928 hectares, sea-buckthorns- 23 hectares, birch forest dominating by barberries – 28 hectares, willows – 15 hectares, other groves dominating by woody species – 22 hectares.
It should be noted that in Georgia quite a large array of sea-buckthorn is rare, which is found in nearby of Stepantsminda, and Oriental beech and high mountain oak are widespread in the vast areas of Snoskheoba.
Among the forests in Kazbegi region one of the most important one is a natural grove which is near village Sioni. Here on 1700-1900 m above the sea level there are: birch, poplar, common ash-tree, rowans, high mountain maple and other deciduous species.
Kazbegi flora is rich in wild herbs, which is one of the most important natural resources, the protection, restoration and cultivation of which has a great importance. The list of common herbs here are: sage, sweetbrier, centifola, tansies, dandelion, thyme, chamomile, chicory, coltsfoot, achillea, origanum, valeriana, hypericum, henbanes, cranberries, fleaworts, nettles, leonurus and others.
Plants from the “Red List” of Georgia
In single copies here can be found high mountain oak (Quercusmacranthera), a small elm (Ulmus minor Miller), bare elm (Ulmusglabra) and others.
Relict and endemic species
From Georgian endemics onthe weathering of rocks there are: Arabiskazbekensis, Galanthusplatyphillus, Heracleumossethicum, Liliumgeorgicum, Muscaripallens.
From the Caucasian endemic plants here can be found: Delphinium flexuosum, Campanula hypopolia, Campanula petrophilla, Campanula sosnowskyi, Delphinium flexuosum , Delphinium speciosum, Dianthus caucaseus, Eritrichiumcaucasicum, Fritillarialatifolia, Fritillarialutea, Gladiolus tenuis, Inulamagnific, Ligulariasubsagittata, Primulacordifolia, Primuladarialica, Sobolewskiacaucasica,
Local endemics: Heracleumroseum var. latilobum
The National Park is rich in fauna. Most of the animals spread here are rare and endangered species included in the “Red List” of Georgia: East Caucasian tur, chamois, brown bear. Here you can find: martens, wild cats, rabbits, squirrels and others.
Biodaiversitia and deep valleys, hills, subalpine fields existing in the National Park are the ideal habitat for large-sized birds of prey. In the Reserve you can find: the golden eagle, vulture and bearded vulture. An attention draws also the Caucasian rouse and Caucasian Snowcock.
From mammals there are Georgian endemic species: Common Shrew (Sorexsatunini), Volnuchinishrew (Sorexvolnuchini), Gueldenstaedt’s shrew (Crociduragueldenstaedtii), Kazbeg birch mouse, (Sicistakazbegica) and bushes vole (Terricoladaghestanicus).
From endemic birds here are: the Caucasian Blcak Grouse (Tetraomlokosiewzci), the Caucasian Snowcock (Tetraogalluscaucasicus), ring ouzel (Turdustorquatus), Red-billed chough (Pyrrhocoraxpyrrhocorax),Alpine chough (P. graculus) and others. In addition in the National Park there are globally important 2 species of birds: Great rosefinch (Carpodacusrubicilla) and Güldenstädt's redstart (Phoenicuruserythogaster).