Shikahogh Reserve and its two sanctuaries (Zangezur and Plane Grove) together make up 29,569 hectares spread over the mountains of southern Armenia. The park is home to 1,074 species of vascular plants and 208 species of vertebrate animals, including 8 registered in the IUCN Red List. The reserve was established in 1958 to protect the high level of mesothermophilous plant species and such endangered animals as Caucasian leopard, Bezoar goat and Brown bear. The small but biologically rich Plane Grove Sanctuary holds the largest natural grove of oriental plane trees in the Caucasus. A number of thousand year old trees form the sanctuary’s core along the Tsav river.
Newly created in 2009, Zangezur Sanctuary is situated in the mountain range of the same name, the sub-alpine meadows and meadow-steppe ecosystems hold vital habitat for one of the oldest symbols and living legends of Armenia—the Armenian mouflon.
CNF’s three-year grant (2011-13) of €210,000 helps Shikahogh undertake increased management responsibilities for Zangezur Sanctuary and supplements operating funds needed to maintain these areas.