Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fauna of Armenia- Caucasian Otter and Brown Bear


Armenia Post has issued the sixteenth series of Flora and Fauna features Caucasian otter and Brown Bear on December 16, 2009. The both species are described in the following paragraph are listed in the Armenian Red Book.

Caucasian otter (Lutra Lutra meridionalis), (120),is typical of freshwater otters. It may also be known as the Eurasian river otter, common otter.An otter's diet mainly consists of fish but can also include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals. In general this opportunism means they may inhabit any unpolluted body of freshwater, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there is good supply of food. Otters may also live along the coast, in salt water, but require regular access to freshwater to clean their fur. Otters are strongly territorial, living alone for the most part, with individual's home ranges varying between 1-40 km, with about 18 km being usual, depending on the density of food available.

It is in front of the danger of elimination. In Armenia it was met everywhere, from dry subtropics and semi-deserts to forest and mountainous steppes, 550-2100 meters high above the sea level. It settled in fresh- watered reservoirs of all landscape zones. It settled in holes burrowed on the shores of reservoirs and in the cracks of rocks more rarely. Over the last years, its quantity has had a considerable fall, mainly due to the decrease of the level of Lake Sevan,decrease of marshland area and rivers, and general decrease of quality of environment. Other reason is the soiling of rivers and lakes by industrial and agricultural waste which decreases the number of fish in the rivers.

Brown bear (Ursus Arctos Syriacus, (160), is a large bear as member of Brown Bear that occurs in the trans-Caucasus, Syria, Iraq,Turkey (Asia Minor), Iran, Afghanistan, western Himalayas and the Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan mountains.It is a light coloured, moderate to small-sized subspecies with light claws. It can weigh from 300 to 780 kilograms .

It can be met in southeastern part of Armenia. Sometimes it reaches Aragats mountain slopes. It appears 550-2450m high above the sea level.
It lives in deciduous, mixed and juniper forests, rocks, shrubs, caves, ravines and chaotic stone conglomerations. Periodically it rises to small meadows in alpine. Over the last ten years the bear location districts are penetrating into the sphere of the human activity.

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