Kolkheti National Park

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Kolkheti National Park photograph
Kolkheti National Park

Kolkheti National Park

The Kolkheti National Park is located in West Georgia, in the Kolkheti coastal plain lying between the mouths of the Tikori and Supsa. The Kolkheti National Park covers an area of 28 940 ha of land, spread over the administrative districts of Zugdidi, Khobi, Lanchkhuti, Senaki and Abasha and includes 15 742 ha of marine territory. The park was established in 1999 as part of Georgia’s Integrated Coastal Management Project with the financial support of the World Bank (WB) and the Global Environmental Fund (GEF). The National Park includes the Kolkheti State Nature Reserve established in 1947 (500ha) and the adjacent wetlands, including the Paleastomi Lake.
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The coastal zone of the park together with the adjacent marine area lies along one of the main routes of migration of water- fowls and waders of Africa and Eurasia. Over 194 different bird species are found within the region, including 21 species of migratory birds. A number of species, such as Black Stork (Ciconia Nigra), Crane (Grus grus), Great White Egret (Egretta alba), are on the verge of extinction and included in the Red Data Book of Georgia. The National Park together with other areas of the Kolkheti lowlands is considered to be the homeland of the legendary Kolkhuri pheasant.
Migrating raptors (at least 25 species) and other large, soaring birds are concentrated here in spring and autumn, due to their aversion to flying over the sea or high mountains. Counts have covered only small periods of the spring and autumn migration seasons, but include (seasonal total in brackets) Black stork (Ciconia nigra) (350-500, autumn), Honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus) (8,420, autumn),Black kite (Milvus migrans) (2,300, spring),Levant sparrowhawk (Accipiter brevipes) Sparrowhawk (/A. nisus )(1,500, spring), Lesser spotted eagle (Aquila pomarina) (268, autumn),Steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis) (127, autumn), Common buzzard (Buteo buteo) (44,900, spring), Booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) (156, spring), Western marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus) (181, autumn), and several species of falcon. The site is also an important wintering ground and staging place for numerous waterbirds as well as passerines. Wetlands at the site attract a wide variety of passage and wintering birds such as Black-throated diver (Gavia arctica), grebes ,Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), Ciconiiformes, wildfowl (several dabbling duck species, also Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), Velvet scoter (Melanitta fusca),Smew (Mergus albellus), shorebirds, gulls and terns.Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) (uncommon in winter), White-tailed eagle pictured (Haliaeetus albicilla) (at least two breeding pairs and 13 birds in winter), Pallid harrier (Circus macrourus) and Spotted eagle (Aquila clanga) (both frequent on passage).


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