Georgia – a haven for biodiversity
07 December 2012 | News story
Did you know that Georgia is listed in two of the world’s 34 “biodiversity hotspots"? Located on the Southern slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range, Georgia hosts many endemic species. IUCN and its Members are active in the country and the Caucasus region to protect this rich natural heritage.
As a consequence to its geological history, its very diverse relief and climatic zones, a developed hydrographic system and a wide variety of soils, Georgia is rich in biodiversity and hosts a high level of endemism. Georgia is listed in two “biodiversity hotspots”: the Caucasus and the Irano-Anatolian hotspots. WWF also identified the area as one of the priority “Global 200 Ecoregions”.
A wide array of ecosystems is concentrated in a relatively small area contributing to the uniquely high level of biodiversity. Major biomes include floodplain forest, semi-desert, steppe, arid light woodland and hemixeropyte scrub, forest, sub-alpine, alpine, subnival and nival zones and wetlands.
Georgia’s flora is remarkably rich. There are 4,300 species of vascular plants, 600 of which are endemic to the Caucasus region and 300 endemic to the country. The country has a diverse fauna with 16,054 species described to date. The vertebrate fauna is presented by 758 species, with 76 mammal, 300 bird, 52 reptile, 12 amphibians and 84 fish species, including Caucasian endemics.
Georgia is considered to be one of the centres of origin of many domesticated plant and animal species, greatly supporting the agrobiodiversity of the region.
Climate change adaptation, biodiversity policy and governance, agrobiodiversity protection are some of the areas in which IUCN and its Members focus in Georgia. Read more in the latest Focus dedicated to this country.