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Nestled within the Caucasus eco-region, Georgia has a diverse array of habitats and wildlife. The country is afforded relative isolation by both mountain and sea but located at the convergence point of three major bio-geographical regions (Europe, Asia and the Middle East) the country has numerous unique and endemic species.
The country is home to many large carnivores, such as bears, wolves and even leopard! Given the traditional shepherd lifestyle of many rural people, these predators are perceived as threats to people and livestock. There is also a strong hunting culture. These two phenomena compound to stimulate conflict between carnivores and humans, which is threatening Georgia’s wildlife.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has worked closely with our Georgian partner NACRES since 2004 to help safeguard the country’s diversity, in particular its spectacular carnivores, for future generations.
Falconry has been a keen pursuit of the Georgians for many centuries. Each autumn raptors are caught during their annual migration over the west coast region of the country. At the end of the season, birds are released making this a low-impact activity. More recently, however, some trappers have begun selling birds out of the region and there is serious concern that this will soon begin impacting bird populations. FFI is seeking to address this by supporting better regulation, encouraging more sustainable falconry practices and improving border control to intercept smugglers.
Georgia is home to the Asian leopard, grey wolf, brown bear, Eurasian lynx, and many other carnivore species. Unfortunately, these animals are coming under threat from illegal hunting, retaliatory killing due to conflict with livestock farmers, and a general lack of concern and awareness regarding biodiversity and the benefits of conservation.
FFI and Georgian partner NACRES (the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Research) are addressing these threats by improving law enforcement, biological monitoring and community outreach. We are also working with shepherds to improve stock protection and to mitigate the loss of livestock to wild predators. We are continuing to raise public awareness of wildlife loss and we are conducting surveys and research on the endangered carnivores of Georgia.
The Georgian Carnivore Conservation Project is primarily funded by the EU and is implemented by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) in partnership with a national NGO, NACRES. The main focus of the project is the conservation of the unique and globally important biodiversity of the semi-arid landscape in the south-east of the country. The Vashlovani Protected Area complex Located in the south-eastern part of Georgia, this is the project’s key site and covers a total of 35,054 hectares, the bulk…Read more