Biodiversity of Tusheti Protected areas
Tusheti flora is distinguished by its diversity, here are 1062 species of plants. Forest habitat of the protected ares is mostly represented by the Caucasian pine (Pinuskochyana). Pine foresr is spread at 1700-2000 meters above sea level and its total area covers about 15000 hectares.
With evelation Pine forest is replaced by birch trees. There are birch forests at 1700-2400 meters above sea level, the most spread species are warty and Litvinov birch.(here are also crooked birch trees). Crooked forests mainly include Litvinov birch. But in some places there is alosRadde’s birch. The total area of broadleaf forests is not more than 1400 hecatares. Subalpine forests totally cover 6200 hectares. The upper lower zone of the forest spreads from 1650 meters to 1900 meters. Subalpine forests are represented from 1700 meters to 2600 meters.
Species from the “Red List” of Georgia
From Tusheti National Park 2 woody species are included in the “Red List” – Radde’s and black birch. 8 Herbaceous species (Allium otschiauriaeTscholokaschvili, Erysimumsubnivale Prima, FicariavariaOtschiauri, Galeopsis nana Otschiaur, Jurineaexuberans(Trautv.)Otschiauri, Rosa irysthonicaManden, TragopogonotschiauriiKuthatheladze) are assessed as nationally vulnerable categories.
The Park is distinguished by endemic plant species.
230 species of Tusheti National Park flora are the Caucasian endemic (more than 20% of the total number of the Cauacasian endemic), and 11 species are Georgian endemic. Form Georgian and local endemic species there are: Tushetian aconite, lily, Tushetianweetbrier, Tebulo buttercup and Tushetian skullcaps. And from the Caucasian endemic: Radde’s birch, rhododendron, Sosnovski pine, Litvinov birch, fritillaries, primrose and squill.
In Tusheti Protected area fauna is represented in about 180 species. With unverified data in Tusheti there are: 60 species of mammals, about 120 – birds, 3-reptiles, 6-amphibian and one species of fish.
Weathered sloped of the Caucasus and inaccessible cliffs are the homeland of East Caucasian tur chamois and wild goat. The neighbor of Caucasian tur is Caucasian endemic – the Caucasian Snowcock, and in rhododendron shrubs and birch groves lives the Caucasian black grouse.
From large ungulates in Tusheti forests it is possible to meet roe and rearly deer. A boar regularly comes from the neighboring Dagestan.
Tusheti is rich in predators – fox and wil is met everywhere. Almost in the entire territoey there are: brown bear, lynx, hare, chamois and tur.
Tusheti is a diverse region in terms of ornithology. There are many birds of different size and different lifestyle. Tusheti inaccessible cliffs are the nesting place for huge birds- vultures, Bearded vultures and Golden eagles. In the National Park there are also a great number of: crossbill, several kinds of woodpeckers, red head finch, mountain Pipit and wallcreeper, partridge, mountain kestrel, buzzard and the fastest bird on the planet – falcon.
Tushetirivers are rich in trout.
There are three species of reptilies in Tusheti: Coronellaaustriaca, Vipera ursine, Laerta sp. And others, also there is one species of the green toad.
Species fom the “Red List” of Gerorgia
18 species (10 birds, 7 mammals and 1 fish) of Tusheti National Park fauna are included in the “Red List”. From mammals there are: European barbastelle, otter, brown bear, wild goat, tur, deer, aucasian grouse and Caucasian Snowcok. From rare species of birds are common: Imperial eagle, greater spotted eagle, lesser kestrel, corncrake, steppe eagle, black kite, vulture, field Montagu’s Harrier. There is only one species of fish on this territory – trout.
From endemic mammals in Tusheti can be found: Sorex raddei, Sorex volnuchini, Myotis daubentonii Chionomys gud, Chionomys roberti, Terricola majori, Terricola daghestanicus and others.
From endemic birds Caucasian grouse and Caucasian Snowcock are notable.