Fauna of Shikahogh has been affected by Iranian, Anatolian, Lesser Caucasus and, to a lesser extent, Central Asian faunas. Endemic invertebrates are diverse: Phytodrymadusa armeniaca, Nocarodes armenus, Dictyla subdola, Geotomus punctulatus, Amphicoma eichleri, Cantharis araxicola, Tomomyza araxana, Bombilius schelkovnikovi, Shadinia akramowskii, Gabbiella araxena, Pupilla bipapulata, Zodarion petrobium and others.
Insects number about 1000 species belonging to 7 orders, 106 families and 566 genera. Of them, 37 species occur only in the reserve, 27 are rare, endangered or having limited distribution, and 4 are extremely rare.
Six species of fish live in waters of the Tsav, Shikahogh, Mazra rivers and their tributaries, most valuable of which is the brook trout Salmo trutta fario.
Amphibians are few, just 4 species. Reptiles are represented by 26 species: 11 lizards, 13 snakes and 2 tortoises. Five species of reptiles (spur-thighed tortoise Testudo graeca, Schneider’s skink Eumeces schneideri, cat snake Telescopus fallax, Transcaucasian rat snake Zamenis hohenackeri and Armenian viper Montivipera raddei) are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia. Of them, the spur-thighed tortoise and the Armenian viper are registered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Ornithofauna is represented by 141 species of birds, mostly forest-dwelling ones. Many species are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia: Levant sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes, short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus, golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos, lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, griffon vulture Gyps fulvus, Madagascar bee-eater Merops superciliosus, Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius, Caucasian black grouse Tetrao mlokosiewiczi, black woodpecker Dryocopus mаrtius, woodchat shrike Lanius senator, orphean warbler Sylvia hortensis, Kurdish wheatear Oenanthe xanthoprimna, rufous-tailed rock thrush Monticola saxatilis, blue rock thrush Monticola solitarus, bluethroat Luscinia svecica, white-throated robin Irania gutturalis, Eurasian penduline-tit Remiz pendulinus, somber tit Parus lugubris, wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria and rufous-backed bunting Emberiza buchanani. The Caucasian black grouse is also registered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Mammalian fauna includes 1 species of hares, 3 insectivores, 6 bats, 15 rodents, 9 carnivores and 4 ungulates. The most common species are those living in forests and tolerant to humans: eastern European hedgehog Erinaceus concolor, forest dormouse Dyromis nitedula, least weasel Mustela nivalis, stone marten Martes foina, red fox Vulpes vulpes and others. Meantime, there are other forest species striving to stay away from humans: badger Meles meles, gray wolf Canis lupus, brown bear Ursus arctos, wild cat Felis silvestris, Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx, European roe deer Capreolus capreolus and wild boar Sus scrofa. Frequently, especially in the summer, they come to the subalpine meadows. The bezoar goat Capra aegagrus lives on precipitous cliffs scattered across the forest and subalpine zones. Small numbers of Armenian mouflons Ovis orientalis gmelinii occur in Zangezur Sanctuary. Doubtless, the rarest mammalian species is the Caucasian leopard Panthera pardus ciscaucasica, also known as the Persian leopard P. p. saxicolor, which is sometimes recorded in the rocky areas of the subalpine zone along the southern and western fringes of the reserve.
Among the mammals, the Natterer’s bat Myotis nattereri, Indian crested porcupine Hystrix indica, Syrian brown bear U. a. syriacus, wild cat, Caucasian leopard, Armenian mouflon and bezoar goat are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia. The leopard, brown bear, bezoar goat and Armenian mouflon are also registered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The website was created in 2009 as part of the project “Biodiversity Protection and Community Development: Implementing Ecoregional Conservation Plan Targets in South Armenia”. The project was implemented by WWF Norway and WWF Armenia with the financial support of the Norwegian Government.
© Shikahogh State Reserve