Status and Trends of Biodiversity
Georgia, as part of the Caucasus Ecoregion, is considered one of the 25 globally significant ‘biodiversity hotspots’, based on the species richness and the significant level of endemism recorded. The Caucasus Region is registered as one of the WWF Global 200 Ecoregions.
Georgia is located on the southern slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range. Georgia covers a total land area of 69,500km2. From sea level at the coast of the Black Sea, the land reaches to approximately 5,184m above sea level in the Caucasus region (Mount Shkhara). Two thirds of the country is mountainous with an average height of 1,200m above sea level.
Georgia has a diverse landscape with the following major biomes identified: forest, flood plane forest, semi-desert, steppe, arid light woodland and hemi-xerophytes scrub, sub-alpine, alpine zone, subnival, wetlands. Within these biomes, the diversity of habitat types is also remarkable. The Kolkheti forest refugium, as well as the limestone and high mountain vegetation complexes, are all ecologically and biogeographically distinct and especially noteworthy in terms of species composition.
4,100 species of vascular plants have been recorded in Georgia, among which 300 species are endemic to the country, and 600 species are endemic to the Caucus region. Georgia’s flora also includes 16 genera endemic or sub-endemic to the country. The diversity of faunal species is as follows: over 11,100 species of invertebrates, 84 species of freshwater fish, 12 species of amphibians, 52 species of reptiles, 300 species of birds, and 109 species of mammals. According to IUCN categories and criteria, Georgia has 135 animal species and 4 animal subspecies included on their Red List. Only 56 woody plant species are listed on the Red List. Grassy plants are being assessed according to the IUCN categories and criteria.
Number and Extent of Protected Areas
Georgia’s protected areas system covers a total of 467,329ha of national territory and is split among the following types: 18 Nature Reserves (171,727ha), 5 National Parks (211,067ha), 3 Natural Monuments (239ha), 11 Managed Reserved (56,393ha) and 1 protected Landscape (27,903ha).
Percentage of Forest Cover
40% of the country’s territory.