One of the two first biosphere reserves in the country, Dedoplistskaro is characterized by remote, large and sparsely populated areas around the Takhti-Tepha mud-volcano close to the border with Azerbaijan. It is considered a biodiversity hotspot, with its 52 mammal, 90 bird and 30 reptile species, including the emblematic leopard and black-tailed gazelle. Its steppe and semi-deserts have traditionally supported livestock and grazing and the authorities plan to create new opportunities with sustainable agriculture techniques and ecotourism.
Designation date: 2022
Regional network: EuroMAB
Surface : 251,952 ha
- Core area(s): 11,892 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 28,097 ha
- Transition zone(s): 211,963 ha
Agency of Protected Areas under the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture.
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There are about 52 mammal, over 90 bird, approximately 30 reptile, 18 fish, and 6 amphibian species in the area. Significant numbers of invertebrates are also typical for the zone. The region offers species typical to arid ecosystems such as striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), Caucasian hamster (Mesocricetus brandti), Mediterranean tortoise (Testudo graeca), lebetine viper (Vipera lebetina), western boa (Eryx jaculus), and also atypical species for these ecosystems such as lynx (Felis (lynx lynx), white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), and black stork (Cikonia nigra). The region is particularly rich in reptiles. The zone is an important staging and wintering site for migratory birds. The avifauna also includes a number of important game species. The genetic ancestors of many of the plants cultivated in eastern Georgia are found in the zone: grape (Vitis vinifera), walnut (Juglans regia), quince (Cydonia oblonga), pear (Pyrus sachokiana), pomegranate (Punica granatum), fig (Ficus carica), European cornel (Cornus mas), medlar (Mespilus germanica), mulberry (Morus spp.), wild oat (Avena sativa).
Dedoplistskaro Biosphere Reserve area, despite being less than 10% of the population of Kakheti region, contributes significantly to the economic performance of the region, particularly in agricultural production. In addition to agriculture, its local economy is represented by tourism, mining and processing industry (limestone), various services, trade and construction.
Last updated: October 2022