Implemented by the Caucasus Nature Fund, the “Enhancing Financial Sustainability of the Protected Areas System in Georgia” project provides financial, operational and technical support to the Agency of Protected Areas (APA) for 12 target PAs in Georgia. A crucial component of this technical assistance is the support for biodiversity monitoring and in late September and early October, a team from our partner NGO NACRES traveled to the Tusheti Protected Areas to monitor bezoar goats (Capra aegagrus), which are included in the Red List of Georgia as a Critically Endangered species (CR).
With financial support from the Caucasus Nature Fund though our ongoing grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF-6) the NACRES team purchased high quality binoculars and spotting scopes and spent weeks in the possible habitats of the Bezoar Goats within the Tusheti Protected Areas. A representative of the Caucasus Nature Fund also took part in the field monitoring, which involved both active field observation and the collection of data through camera-traps – in order to understand the bezoars’ population distribution and numbers.
In addition to Bezoar Goats, the researchers found signs of a Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) population living in the Tusheti PAs. Based on the data collected, the number of Bezoar Goats, their distribution and population dynamics in Tusheti will be analyzed. This information will enable the Agency of Protected Areas to identify the correct priorities and management responses/actions for the conservation of this high conservation value species – an essential prerequisite for the sustainable conservation of biodiversity.
Our partners from NACRES while monitoring the goats: