KHOSROV FOREST state reserve

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Landscape diversity is high, ranging from semi-deserts to alpine meadows depending on elevations. Altitudes 900-1250 m are covered by semi-deserts, 1250-2500 m - by arid grasslands, 1500-2500 m - by widespread juniper (Juniperus spp.) sparse forests, 1600-2500 m - by oak (Quercus spp.) forests and over 2500 m - by subalpine and alpine meadows. True and sparse forests occupy 16% of the reserve, open grasslands - 20% and rock-dwelling xerophylous communities - 64%. Slope exposure, declivity and climate also play an important role in determining the structure of habitats.

Since ancient times, the landscapes of Khosrov Reserve have been affected by human pressure. At present, several villages are located inside the reserve and many more rural communities neighbor upon it. Despite in 1985 a number of agricultural lands were taken from their owners to be incorporated to Khosrov Reserve and compensated by giving land plots elsewhere, until now 40 households use 20 hectares of ranges inside the reserve. Some extent of overlap between the reserve and land-use boundaries allows to violate the protection regime. For example, Gorovan Sands Sanctuary on the fringe of Khosrov Reserve known to be the only protected area of true desert in Armenia has been exploited for sand mining and livestock grazing.

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