Biodiversity of Imereti Caves Protected Areas



From  the existing caves of Imereti Protected Areas only Satapliya Reserve and Managed Reserve are explored botanically

Satapliya Reserve is located in the damp subtropical zone. 98 % of the territory is covered with young Colchis type subtropical forest. These areas are dominated by beech forest – with boxwood understory and hornbeam forest – with Oriental hornbeam understory. From Coniferous trees there are yew (TaxusBaccata). There are 67 woody species recorded in the reserve area, among them 30 species are trees and 37 – bushes. From the represented species 59 are deciduous and 8 – evergreen.

Almost half of the woody plants are relicts. Among them are Caucasian hornbeam, Georgian oak, Eastern beech, chestnut and others.

From the elements of Colchis forest 8 species are spread in the Reserve:Quercushartwissiana, Imeretian buckthorns, common rhododendron, ruscus, Btcher’s Broom, Colchis capers, high cranberries and Colchis boxwood. From Poltava flora elements here can be found: boxwood, Colchis ivy, rhododendron and others.

There are 482 species of herbaceous plants.

Species included in the “Red List” of Georgia

In Satapliya preserve there are 9 woody species of rare and endangered plants included in the “Red List”: yew (Taxusbaccata L.), Colchis boxwood (BuxuscolchicaPojark.), chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.),Imeretian oak QuercusimeretinaStev. ex. Maleev.), Colchis capers  (StaphyleacolchicaStev.), Zelkova (Zelcovacarpinifolia (Pall.) C. Koch.) and others.

Endemic and relicts

Here are three Caucasus and one Georgian endemic.


There are 12 species of mammals, 5 reptiles, 4 amphibians and 30 species of birds in Satapliya Reserve. From large mammals here can be found jackal, badger, marten, Caucasian squirrel, European reabbit and fox, rarely wolf and deer.

A beautiful view of Colchis forest is filled with various species of birds. The Reserve is the domain of swallows, Caucasian finches, chiffchaff, blackbirds and jays. There areas are often visited by hoes, quail and woodcock.

In Satapiya territory there are grass eater and prey dinosaur tacks are preservedspread in different geological epochs. These tracks are collected in a quite small patch, this means that theis place was the chosen spot by dinosaurs. Dinosaurs found here are divided into separate groups by scientists and are reffered to Satapliyasauarus: Sataphliazaurus dzotsenidze, Sataphliazaurus tchabukiani; Sataphliazaurus gabunia and others.

Imereti caves are habitats for many bats. Among them one species is rare and endangered. Here can be found:  older colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bat (RhinolophushipposiderosBechtein.) Besides above mentioned bats there are also: Greater Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophusferrumequinum.); Lesser mouse-eared bat  (MyotisoxygnathusMonticelli.;); Natterer’s Bat  (MyotisnattereriKuhl), whiskered bat (MyotismystacinusKuhl.); Lesser noctule (NyctalisleisteriKuhl.); common noctuleNyctalisnoctulaSchreber.).

Species included in the “Red List” of Georgia

Accoridng to the existing data there are 8 species of birds and one species of bat in Satapliya Reserve and Managed Reserve. These are:  grZelyura mRabiobi (Myotis bechteini Kuhl.).

From birds there are: Lesser kestrel, owl, Levant Sparrowhawk, long-legged buzzard, greater spotted eagle and others.

Endemic species

9 endemic species from mammals are spread, among them: Asia Minor mouse (Sylvamusmystacinus), Caucasian forest mouse (Sylvaemusfulvipectus),the blck rat (Rattusrattus) and others.