During the round table entitled “Vulnerability of Ecosystems Conditioned with Climate Change” held at EcoLur Press Club, Eleonora Gabrielyan, Dr. in Biological Sciences, Professor, said that a travertine mine is developed in Urtsasar, which is the birthplace of Armenian moufflon and habitat of red-listed species.
“The ex-president took off the most important part of the Khosrov forest – Urtsasar mountain range. It’s the habitat of the Armenian moufflon, together with a unique part of Iranian flora. Now it’s planned to develop travertine mine. The mines crawl up to the upper part of the Urtsasar, where you can find rarely growing centaury, which grows only near Mush, Bitlis and Van. The travertine mine destroys the whole Urtsasar. The Armenian moufflon and centaury are listed in the Red Book of Armenia, while Article 26 of the Code on Subsoil bans mine development in the areas, where the habitats of red-listed animal and plant species are located, as well as in the migration corridors of the animals” added Eleonora Gabrielyan.
As to “EcoLur” NGO information, mouflon and terepuke are registered in the RA Red Book of animals and plants. Article 26 of the Mining Code prohibits the exploitation of mineral resources in the places where there are settlements of plants or animals registered in the RA Red Book, as well as animal migration routes.
The Urtsasar mountain range was alienated from Khosrov in 2006, where “Safari International” hunting organization operation, according to internet ads.
It’s already several days since the environmentalists are fighting to return Urtsasar into the borders of Khosrov reserve, but to no avail.