Fauna in Armenia

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Armenia holds a large diversity of fauna, including the Wild Armenian Goat, Deer, Wild Ram, Leopard, Caucasian Bear (all endangered), lynx, wildcat, Reed Wildcat, Wild Bore, Porcupine, Squirrel, Jackal, Mole, Prairie Dog, Marten, Royal Stag and Nutria. Other species normal to vegetation zones elsewhere will be found in Armenia. Unique fish found in Armenia are the Ishkhan (red-spotted trout) and Sig. Most popular habitats for specific fauna are listed under each Region.

Popular Fauna by Region


The largest prairie dog population in Armenia is in Shirak, located west of Maralik. Nutria, moles, jackals and wildcats are frequently seen in the region as well.

Lori, Tavush

Notable fauna include sylvan wildcat, reed wildcat, lynx, fox, royal stag, deer, caucasian squirrel, porcupine, bear, wild bore, marten.

Aragatsotn, Kotaik

On Aragats, mountain leopard (very rare), caucasian wildcat, caucasian ram and mountain goat (very rare), mole, lynx, porcupine, squirrel and marten. In Kotaik, deer, wildcat, mountain leopard (very rare), squirrel, wild bore, lynx, nutria, white panther (extremely rare), fox and bear.

Gegharkunik, Sevan

Wild Armenian Goat, Wild Ram, mountain leopard (endangered species), wild bore, fox, wildcat, Ishkhan and Sig.

Ararat Valley

Endangered species include the wild bore, leopard, royal stag, wild ram and mountain goat (Khosrov Nature Preserve). Others include the lynx, deer, wild bore, wildcat, reed wildcat, prairie dog, mole and nutria.

Vayots Dzor

Primary species include caucasian goat, ram, mountain leopard (endangered species), wild bore, caucasian bear, jackal, lynx, mole, porcupine, fox, wildcat, squirrel, marten.


Kapan City and its immediate surroundings lie on the Iranian Plateau, a semi-arid land inhabited by field deer, jackals and marten. Immediately to the West of Kapan City, between Goris and Meghri the landscape suddenly changes, marking the border of the Caucasian Land mass, with wild mountain goats, lynx, porcupines and sylvan wild cats. There are still a few wild boars in the deepest parts of the forest, and even the rare Caucasian leopard in the most remote mountain areas. This territory is pocked with small sections of the Asia Minor Plateau, with a few jackals, reed wildcats, hawks and eagles crossing between nature zones. Sissian is home to part of the surviving Caucasian bearded goat and wild ram.



The Uranots area incorporates almost the entire set of landscape habitats which occur in the eco-zone between semi desert and mountain steppe. Nearly vertical rocky outcrops, open juniper woodlands, stunted deciduous trees, shrubby thickets and hillsides covered with scanty grass vegetation and sparse growths of Astragalus attract bird species like Griffon Vultures and Lammergeiers, Chukars, nuthatches, larks, shrikes and wheatears with a recently discovered Red-tailed Wheatear.

Lichk Reserve

Lichk Reserve is a pair of small lakes fed by a river and has a high concentration of water and wetland dependent birds. Covered with dense stands of aquatic vegetation, Lichk offers excellent opportunities to many water- and shorebirds as a breeding, foraging and stopover site. Coots and divers such as Common and Red-crested Pochards breed here. A good number of herons, egrets, cormorants and waders such as Common Snipe and Great Sandpiper are regular visitors, while most of them stay into winter.

Armash Fishponds

Armenia’s Armash fish ponds offer one of the most exciting birding opportunities in the entire Western Palearctic — it is a magnet for anyone with a serious interest in birds.

Armash fish ponds are one of the Caucasus’ richest ornithological hot spots, boasting the largest concentration and variety of bird life in Armenia. The diversity of birds that call this magical place home is impressive, with about 220 different species including Little, Great Crested and Red-necked Grebes, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco, Purple and Grey Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets, Mallard, Garganey, Red-Crested and Common Pochards, Tufted Duck, Western Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Little Crake, Common Coot, Eurasian Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, Little Ringed and Kentish Plovers, Northern Lapwing, Common, Wood and Green Sandpipers, Common Redshank, Common Black-headed Gull, Gull-billed and Little Terns, Black Tern, Common Kingfisher. It is also the habitat that provides the main entry point for most migratory water birds that cross the national borders such as Red-necked Phalarope, Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Caspian Tern, White-winged and Whiskered Terns.

Nestled in the foothills of Mount Ararat, the commercial fish ponds of Armash are at the junction of Armenia and Iran, Turkey and Nakhichevan. It is a broad swath of extensive wetland area in the arid lands of south-western Armenia, occupying fish-ponds each between 10 and 100 hectares (24.7 and 247 acres) in size. The terrain is mainly saline semi desert, yet the pools, natural salt marshes, irrigation and drainage channel shores, standing fresh waters and warm artesian springs have turned Armash into a bird paradise.

Extensive reed beds and aquatic vegetation growing along shores and on islet-shaped patches provide refuge and breeding habitats for grebes, egrets, herons, ducks, an array of waders and terns. An overwhelming majority of waterbirds have enriched these expanses as breeding and foraging grounds, while warm artesian streams create favorable conditions for large concentrations of migratory waterbirds during spring/fall passage and wintering seasons.

Land bird diversity is also impressive and includes Blue-Cheeked Bee-Eater, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Bearded Reedling and many other passerine birds. The great attraction of fish ponds is not only in the habitats available, but also in the annual practice of draining the pools in order to harvest the fish, thereby incidentally providing a habitat exceptionally rare in Armenia, that of exposed mud used extensively by many thousands of waders during their fall periods of migration in Armenia.

Armash is the only site in Armenia that supports the breeding of the globally threatened species Marbled Teal and White-headed Duck. It plays host to rarities such as Eurasian Spoonbill and the graceful White-tailed Lapwing that are found nowhere else in Armenia.

Other notable species include global (IUCN) and national red-listed species such as Pygmy Cormorant, Greylag Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Glossy Ibis, Armenian Gull, Osprey and European Roller. Periods of fall migration hold the most extreme rarities including Black-winged Pratincole and Flamingo, while Great Black-headed Gull, Dalmatian and White Pelicans, as well as Whooper and Tundra Swan are traditional winter visitors.

A final link in the rich chain of habitats surrounding Armash is the semi desert with Tamarisk, Camel’s Thorn and Sagebrush vegetation which supports an impressive selection of warblers. The bushes and scrubby areas literally throng with reverberating sounds of Olivaceous, Upcher´s and Menetries Warblers, while dense stands of reed are full of Great Reed, Sedge, Cetti’s, Savi’s and Paddyfield Warblers and a great majority of other passerine birds.

Each year the fish ponds at Armash attract birds as a suitable breeding and foraging grounds, while warm artesian streams create favorable conditions for migrating and wintering birds. Shown on this panel are some of Armenia’s most interesting birds, including rare and endangered ones, which can be seen here at various times of the year.