CAMERA TRAPS IN BORJOMI-KHARAGAULI NP
One of the largest national parks in Europe, Borjomi-KharagauliNational Park, was established in 1995. It covers more than 85,000 hectares and was the first national park in the Caucasus region established according to international standards. Since 2007 the park has been a member of PAN Parks Network.
Borjomi-KharagauliNational Park is located in the eastern part of the Lesser Caucasus Mountain chain, 800 to 2642 m above sea level. It lies in the centre of the Caucasus Ecoregion. Due to its vulnerability and rich biodiversity the Ecoregion is included in World Wide Fund for Nature’s priority list of 35 most outstanding natural places and Conservation International’s list of 34 biodiversity hot spots. The area is located at the convergence of two such hot spots: Caucasian and Anatolian. Furthermore, according to the Caucasian Ecoregion Conservation Plan, the protected areas incorporate a significant part of one (N 27) of the 56 priority areas of the Caucasian Ecoregion.
It is mainly characterized by undisturbed wilderness and unfragmented mixed mountain forest landscapes, which are important habitats for large carnivores. The Park is rich in faunal biodiversity and provides habitat for relict, endemic, rare and endangered species of animals. Rare and endangered species of large mammals and birds listed in the Red List of Georgia found and protected within the area are: Caucasian Red Deer (Cervus elaphus maral), Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), Lynx (Lynx lynx), Caucasian Chamois (Rupicarpa rupicarpa caucasica), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetus fulva), Caspian Snowcock (Tetraogallus caspius), Caucasian Black Grouse (Tetrao mlokosiewiczi), among others. In the forested areas there are also found Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), and Wolf (Canis lupusI).
Wildlife monitoring is one of the main tasks of the national park administration. This is done in a systematic way using various regular and structured methods to assess the current situation and future trend of target species.
Camera traps are an important non-invasive tool for assessing key elements for wildlife conservation: the abundance of a species throughout a space and over time, their activity patterns, habitat use and reproductive trends. Camera traps installed in Borjomi-KharagauliNational Park took pictures of lynx, brown bears and wolves. The park has been using the camera traps for monitoring purposes for 3 years and they have already provided great shots and invaluable information on different species.