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The Aarhus Centers Volunteers are aware of bird species protection
For raising and creating awareness on the Armenia’s biodiversity problems the “Center for Bird Lovers” NGO, represented by T. Stepanyan, held several meetings and workshops with the Aarhus Centers young volunteers.
The regions to conduct training courses were chosen taking into account certain circumstances. Taking into consideration the water areas management and their biodiversity conservation -related issues in Armenia, at first we went to Ararat region.
As a result of overuse of underground waters here are going on very serious processes, of which in our opinion the most important is the problem of
Armash artificial lakes. As it is known, these lakes are privatized and the all rights of operation are given to owners. However, after drying Gili artificial lake in these lakes, we have a very interesting wetland bird fauna, the protection of which is one of the most important issues of our country.

The owners are intent to dry some of the lakes, as a result of which the birds may leave this area.On March 5, at the meeting held in Ararat Aarhus Centre through presentation we informed local young people, what kind of birds are there in this region and what significance they have for the ecosystem protection.The next one was the Yeghegnadzor Aarhus Centre. It has severe dry continental climate, dry desert landscape is dominating, which is rich in its numerous bird species.

But due to the climate change, unregulated hunting in these areas are endangered a number of species listed in the Red Book, which have a major role in the environmental preservation issue.On April 12, in Yeghegnadzor Aarhus was presented the general situation, specially were mentioned those species, which are included in the Red Book and possibly may leave the area ultimately.

The next visiting place was Aparan, where due to the unique mountain climate: in conditions of enduring cold, steady snow winters and hot, relatively humid summers the nature has created suitable habitat for biodiversity development and protection, but the exploitation of the existing mines (Toukhmanuk) in the area pose serious negative impact on the natural environment and biodiversity. Due to the irregular operation of the mine are polluted the soil, the water, which led to habitats loss and extinction of animals living in the area.

The organization’s representative presented in the Aarhus Centre the birds’ species, which are spread in the given area, indicating the Red-book listed species and common species protection issues.
Biodiversity issues of animals living in forest habitat were addressed on May 27 in Dilijan Aarhus Center, especially that the all city with its entire surroundings comprises the “Dilijan” National Park.

The participants were made aware of the problem of specially protected areas; what diverse bird fauna has this area and how the public can contribute to the protection of bird species in this area. In all meetings it was highlighted how could the society protect the surrounding biodiversity.

Creating public awareness is a major step towards the environment protection. Being aware of biodiversity issues, the community can have serious participation in solution of these problems.
With its actions the community may contribute to forest, water, and landscape conservation as a habitat and, of course, being cognizant of its surrounding fauna can take some steps for its protection.

Tamara Stepanyan, deputy head of “Center for Bird Lovers” NGO, employee of Museum of Zoology of Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, project Coordinator

Translated by Anush Beybutyan