Connecting Birds and People

Transboundary bird monitoring


Organization of the National Parks at the areas that have been initially used as working lands, is challenging from the beginning as it requires combination of local livelihood and endangered species protection. Such areas need monitoring of ecosystems' condition even more than the strict protected areas. One of those areas is the transboundary network of two National Parks: Lake Arpi located in Armenia and Javakheti, located in Georgia. To provide the National Parks with required tools, which help in tracking the habitats, we are establishing monitoring of birds, which can serve as indicators of terrestrial and aquatic habitats for both countries. 


  1. To select indicator bird species for the National Parks and to design the monitoring scheme.
  2. To implement training of rangers in the National Parks and to conduct three monitoring cycles.
  3. To develop data storage and analysis tools for the National Parks.


During project's implementation 18 indicator bird species have been identified. The transboundary monitoring is covering the period from May till October and is aimed at both: migratory and breeding species. For the purpose in Lake Arpi and Javakheti National Parks there are over 20 counting points selected. The count of migratory waterbirds is implemented in May and then from September to October. The count of breeding birds is differentiated into counts of colonies, count of aggregations of waterbirds, and count of terrestrial species. Thus for the first group we use the absolute count of breeding pairs, for the second - point counts and for the last - transect counts. Migration is counted by point counts as well. 


By the end of the project we expect a joint database for eighteen indicator species to be developed, as well as we anticipate an increase in research capacity of Lake Arpi and Javakheti National Parks. 


The selected indicator species are chosen not only for their sensitivity and high level of specialization, but also for their easy identification, as it allows easy involvement of the rangers and general public into the monitoring. To be engaged into such a project you need to become a Member of our organization, to receive the necessary training, and to get the data collection instructions and protocols.


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