Shikahogh

Shikahogh nature reserve is located in the picturesque province of Syunik in southern Armenia. Near the Iranian border the reserve is surrounded by dense forests. It is situated 1,660 m above sea level and was established in 1958. Shikahogh occupies 29,569 hectares.

The nature reserve has a quite varied relief. There are many mountain rivers and mineral springs. This region is one of the last three untouched forests in Armenian and is home to many rare and endangered plant and animal species. This nature reserve acts to preserve this rare habitat, as well as its characteristic landscape. All species are protected by law, many of which are registered in the Armenian Red Book.

Ninety-five percent of the territory is covered by forests. Widespread are western and usual hagen trees, Georgian oak, yew berry, eastern beech, eastern pine (the only lone pine park in the Caucasus). There are also wild fruit trees such as the pear tree, eastern apple, yew, Greek wild walnuts, lime trees, ash trees, maple, elm, and plum. As for smaller vegetation and shrubbery there are chestnut, persimmon, pomegranate, fig trees, and medlar. There are also 18 rare moss species. Particularly well-known is thin fabronia. In the forest, there are also trees that date back about 500 years.

Among vertebrates, the reserve is known for vipers, legless lizards, and the Armenian viper. Passing through the reserve, it is likely to see wild turkeys, the golden eagle, and vultures. As for mammals, the grey bear, badgers, wild boars, wolves, foxes and the grey rabbit can be spotted. Many of these animals and more are included in the Armenian Red List. Ultimately, it is a wonderful place for hiking!