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Sevan National Park

The only National Park in Armenia was established in 1978 to protect Lake Sevan and the surrounding areas. Overall, including buffer zones, 150,100 ha are protected, including 24,800 ha of dry land. Sevan National Park falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Nature Protection, and is managed as a research centre, which monitors the ecosystems, and undertakes various conservation measures (including regulation of use and tourism, and protection of historical and cultural monuments). Licensed fishing on the lake is also regulated.

Three main zoning areas exist: the core (reserve) zone, a recreation zone and a zone for economic use. The core protection zone includes the watershed for the lake, and the park also incorporates a number of smaller reserves and reservations. One of the key sites in the park is the Artanish peninsula (25,000 ha), which, being very isolated, is relatively undisturbed. Around 1000 higher plant species (including 94 trees and shrubs) are found in this area, which also supports a range of endemic and rare animal species. Three main zones are recognised within the Artanish peninsula, including the lakeshore habitats (planted forests containing pine, poplar, apricot-tree, oleaster, and sea-buckthorn), a medium altitude zone (20-100m) where species such as juniper and rose are common, and an alpine zone (> 100m) dominated by meadow habitats. However, the first two zones were severely affected by illegal felling during the energy crisis.

Protection is aimed at the rare and endemic species of the lake and surrounding habitats. The diversity of habitats and conditions in the area support a wide range of plants and animals.

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