FOR PERSIAN TOAD HEADED LIZARD
Supporting Protected Areas
Goravan Sands state sanctuary
The Goravan Sands sanctuary was nominated by government of Armenian SSR in 1959. At that times it was nominated "Gorovan Sands" sanctuary, after the old name of nearest village Gorovan. Recently "Gorovan" was changed into "Goravan", and hence the name of the sanctuary also should be changed. In the literature is also possible to meat other synonym of this p.a.: The Sands of Goravan reservation.
In the Goravan Sands sanctuary P. persicus
inhabits especially sparse vegetated sandy habitats. (Photos by T.L.Tadevosyan, 2006)
Despite this area is in the center of the interest of biologists, and included in the list of hotspots by CEPF (Caucasus Biodiversity hotspot, 2003). It actually remains neglected and multidimensional using by man as pasture, stone and sand mining, illegal collection of plants and animals, as well as for waste depositing. Several peripheral patches of sandy habitat were recently reclaimed.
Goravan Sands sanctuary presents a mix of sandy, clayey, stony and rocky habitats. This habitats support about 160 species of vascular plants and 40 species of vertebrates as well as many invertebrates.
11 species of vascular plants (Calligonum polygonoides, Salsola tamamschjanae, Acantholimon araxanum, Astragalus paradoxus, Astragalus massalskii, Thesium szovitsii, Neogailonia szovitsii, Eremostachys macrophylla, Rhynopethalusm gibbosum, Tulipa biflora, Iris elegantissima) and 7 species of vertebrate animals (Reptiles: Phrynocephalus persicus, Trachylepis auratus, Eumeces schneideri, Testudo graeca armeniaca; Birds: Oenanthe finschii, Rhodopechis githaginea; Mammals, Meriones dahli) included in Red Data Book of Armenia. One species Testudo gaeca is acknowledged as vulnerable worldwide (IUCN, 2006).
According to the official data (Red Data
Book of Armenia, First
National Report on Biological Diversity) an area of the Goravan Sands
sanctuary consists of 200 ha of sandy habitats. In some other sources
there is also a data that, an area of the sanctuary is 300 (Tadevosyan,
2001), or 358 ha (Caucasus
Biodiversity hotspot, 2003). According to the recently performed field
surveys and the analysis of the LandSat 7 ca, 2000 satellite image, sandy
habitats near Goravan are presented by 10 patches with total area of nearly
175 ha (Tadevosyan, 2006a,b).
Agasian A.L. (Aghasyan A.L.). 1985. [Recent Sate of Rare Spacies of Reptiles In Armenia And The Ways of Their Conservation], // Biol. J. of Armenia, XXXVIII, No 8, pp. 661-665. (In Russian)
Danielyan F.D., 1987. Reptiles. Pp. 103-114 In Red Data Book of Armenian SSR. Movsesyan S.O., and K.A. Ayrumyan (Eds.). "Hayastan", Yerevan.
Darevsky I.S., Orlov N.L., 1988. [Rare and Endangered Animals. Amphibians and reptiles.] Handbook, Moscow, Highest School, 463 pp.(In Russian)
Tadevosyan T.L. 2006. New Data on Abundance and Distribution of the Persian Toad-Headed Lizard in the Goravan Sands Sanctuary, Armenia / Electronic Journal of Natural Sciences. National Academy of Sciences of The Republic of Armenia. 2 (7):45-50.
Tadevosyan, T.L. 2007. The role of vegetation in microhabitat selection of Phrynocephalus persicus, Eremias strauchi and Eremias pleskei from Armenia. Amphibia-Reptilia 28 (3): 444-448. available at www.brill.nl/amre
The site is uploaded 09.25.2006
Last updated 12.25.2010
Tigran L. Tadevosyan, 2006-2011 ©
All rights reserved