Badlands National Park Vashlovani Nature Reserve

Vashlovani Nature Reserve Located in the eastern portion of the country of Georgia, in the district of Dedoplistskaro, to the southwest of Shirakis Veli. Established in 1957, Vashlovani Nature Reserve was set aside to protect and facilitate research of 8,034ha of east Georgia's savannah forests. It is divided in three parts: to the east Washlovani, to the west Pantishra and Usakhelo to the south.

The climate of the area is arid with an average annual temperature of 11.6C and average annual precipitation of 470mm. The reserve contains badlands cut by ravines Alesilebi which measure 59-70m in depth creating an extraordinary panoramic moonscape in some portions of this protected area. About 2436ha of the reserve is covered with forest vegetation and another 4830ha of the reserve is steppes and semi-desert. More than 664 species of plants and animals live here with 40 of them being Caucasian endemics. Some of the plants are characteristic north African species. Within the forests of Vashlovani can be found pistachio trees, jupiner's, cornelian cherry, barberry, wormwood, feather-grass, maple, senna-pod, pear-tree, fig-tree, pomegranate, vine etc and other mixed hardwoods. It is the only place in Georgia, where the forests grow on steppe soil, and in semi-desert conditions. Animals here include 700 insects species and 80 species of birds including jai, woodpeckers, larks, thrushes, partridge, sparrow-hawks, quail, eagles, ariffon and buzzards. Mammals of this area include Eurasian hedgehogs, hares, fox, wild cats, wolves, brown bears, badgers, wild boars, jackals, martens, a rare weasel, striped hyenas and goitre gazelles. Human impact is relatively limited, but does include some roads with cattle and some poaching of the wildlife along these accessible areas of the reserve.

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