Find animal, plant species on first South Caucasus biodiversity website

The map will be continuously developed with more species added from across Georgia and the rest of the region. Screenshot from website., 14 Oct 2019 - 16:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Eurasan Otter, Nordman's Apollo butterfly and Colchian Sowbread flower are among the flora and fauna found across the South Caucasus and now discoverable on the first online map of the region's biodiversity.

Launched in Tbilisi last month, the project for the map - involving the National Geographic Magazine and the Georgian National Museum - has now also resulted in a website where information on the species on the Georgian territory can be accessed.

Over 100 illustrations including 17 mammals, 15 reptiles and 30 plants seen at open natural locations and protected areas in all parts of the country have been added to the map so far.

Information on each animal or plant involves brief facts about their habitat and area of residence in addition to international and local conservation status.

Pages for species detail information about their habitat, conservation status and more. Screenshot from website.

Each description, prepared by a field specialist, provides key information about each species"  - project team

The interactive page is expected to be continually developed, with biodiversity information from other regional countries set to be added to illustrations along with more species from Georgia.

The launch of the website follows last month's presentation of the map's digital and print versions at the Museum of Georgia, bringing the first illustration of the rich and varied variety of species and ecosystems in the region - regarded to be "of global importance" (German Society for International Cooperation).

Realised as a result of work supported by the Integrated Biodiversity Management South Caucasus (IBiS) programme of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the map and the website are available in Georgian and English. The physical map is on display at the Museum of Georgia, one of the Georgian National Museum venues in Tbilisi.

The IBIS programme involves Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and is aimed at detailing challenges facing biodiversity and ecosystem management in the region.

These include unsustainable exploitation of natural resources as well as a lack of cooperation between state- and non-state actors in the three countries and "overlapping interests" between various industries and fields such as forestry, nature conservation and farming.

The GIZ institution has been involved with Georgia in projects for protecting the country's biodiversity since 2008, with pilot measures within the IBiS programme carried out in the Kakheti province in the east.