Armenia’s second largest forest preserve, Shikahogh State Preserve, is situated in the south of Armenia, in Syunik region. The Preserve and its two sanctuaries, Zangezur and Plane Grove, make up 29,569 hectares. With numerous gorges and thick forests this place is a real heaven on the Earth.
Shikahogh is home to 1,074 species of vascular plants and 208 species of vertebrate animals, 8 of which are registered in the IUCN Red List.
The reserve was established in 1958 in order to protect endangered plants and animals (Caucasian leopard, Bezoar goat, Brown bear). The rare plants survived here thanks to the warm and mild climate. Among rare endemic species, listed in Armenia’s Red Data Book that can be found in Shikahogh are Symphyandra zangezura (Zangezur Symphyandra), Pyrus zangezura (Zangezur pear), Rosa zangezura (Zangezur rose), Papaver zangezurum (Zangezur poppy), Linaria zangezura (Zangezur toadflax), rare orchids, beautiful tulips etc.
Since the Preserve is located 700-2400m above sea level, a lot of bird species also like this place.
Besides rare plants and animals, here you can also find numerous historical monuments, such as medieval churches and temples, fortresses and bridges, and even ancient tombs.
The Preserve is 322 km far from Yerevan. The trip to Shikahogh takes about 4 hours and a half.
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