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Noravank 3: Noravank IBA (Important Bird Area). What is an IBA?. The IBA Program. The IBA Program.

Noravank IBA (Important Bird Area)

This Important Bird Area, set among breathtaking scenery and in an important biodiversity area, has open woodlands, steep vertical hillsides, caverns and abundant rocky stags. These terrains and the area's altitude (1200 to 2700 meters) create nesting areas for a variety of bird species, over 190 species of which have been recorded in the area and a number of which are listed in the International Red Data Book of Endangered Species.

Species of conservation concern supported at the site include Short-toed (Circaetus gallicus) and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), Bearded (Gypaetus barbatus) and Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), Lanner (Falco biarmicus) and Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus), as well as Semi-collared Flycatcher (Ficedula semitorquata) and European Roller (Coracius garrulus). Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) and occasionally Greater Spotted Eagles (Aquila clanga) are observed during migration.

What is an IBA?

IBAs are sites of international importance that hold a significant proportion of one or more species' total population. IBAs include sites for breeding, wintering, and/or migrating birds. They vary in size from a few thousand hectares to several hundred thousand hectares and may include public or private lands, protected or unprotected.

IBAs in Armenia are not protected in their own right. In some cases they are part of protected areas, but this does not necessarily mean habitat disturbances will not occur. It is therefore important that these areas be protected as IBAs so that they can continue to provide critical habitat for Armenia's birds.

The IBA Program

The Important Bird Areas program is a global initiative which aims at identifying and protecting a network of sites that are critical for the long-term survival of all bird species and their habitats. Started in Europe in the 1980s by BirdLife International, the program is now active in more than 170 countries.

Conservation of IBAs is an effective tool which unites the efforts of both scientists and conservationists, and encompasses research, advocacy, action, monitoring, development and capacity-building. A grassroots approach to conservation is the outstanding merit of the IBA program.

More information can be obtained at the Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds web site (, or by sending any email to

The text was edited by Lyuba Balyan, National IBA Coordinator.