Lake­ Arpi

Arpi LakeIt’s Natural ­Wealth

One of the hidden beauties of Armenia, Lake Arpi is situated in the plateau of Ashotsk, in the north-west of Armenia, which is known as the area with a minimum temperature in the Republic. In 1946-50 the barrier of 10 meters height and 80 meters length was erected over the lake, in the upper
stream of Akhuryan river, changing the river into the reservoir, from which the river originates. The reservoir is 2020 meters above the sea level, and the surface is 20 square kilometers. It is filled by the waters of mountain springs and rivers, such as Karmrajur, Yeghnajur, Elar. In winter the reservoir becomes covered with ice.
Lake Arpi has great environmental importance, which is the main reason for the idea of creating a new national park in this area. The aim of the national park is to preserve the biodiversity of JavakhkShirak plateau, a great plateau of volcanic origin, situated on the Armenian-Georgian border, which due to its mountain steppe and lakes has its unique place in Caucasian region.
The area of Lake Arpi is a dwelling place for numerous birds, reptiles and plants, some of which now face the danger of disappearance and are registered both in the Red book of Armenia and the International Red book. Among the birds met here, migratory birds, especially daytime birds of prey have special importance.
The catchment of Lake Arpi presents the world’s biggest colony of Armenian gulls and is considered to be the only residence of curl-feather pelican in Armenia. In the territory of Lake Arpi one can often see gray crane, black stork, and big heron. Fauna of birds includes the golden eagle, lammergeyer and dessert eagle. Trout, crucian carp, and Caucasian scale fish have their unique place in the world of fish. Fox, wolf, rabbit and badger are the main representatives of mammals. The most peculiar reptile is the asp. It is included in the Red list of International Union for Preservation of Nature and with its single population known in the world, is situated in the western stone slopes of Javakhk mountain range at 2200-2500 meters above the sea level. The national park around the lake Arpi with its fauna and flora can become an excellent tourist destination, where visitors not only can make observations, but also enjoy the northern cold air and beautiful nature of Armenia.

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