Settling back into work after the winter break is never easy - so here at World Land Trust (WLT) we were delighted to receive in early January a video recorded on Christmas Day showing a large herd of Bezoar Goats streaming over a hillside in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge.
Bezoar Goats have been persecuted by hunters and poachers throughout the Caucasus for decades and since the 1980s their populations have been steadily declining. But in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge, Bezoar Goats are protected – a conservation measure which is likely to mean that over time their numbers will remain stable or even increase.
The camera-trap video speaks volumes about healthy herd numbers, clearly the result of successful conservation measures in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge. As Vicky Mkrtchyan, FPWC’s Environmental Projects Coordinator, put it when she sent us the video: “I won't write anything else - just count them!”
Note also the long horns on some of the male goats in the film. Both a blessing and a curse, it is these horns that are so highly prized by trophy hunters.
As well providing habitat for the Bezoar Goat, the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is also home to the Caucasian Leopard. As the leopard preys on the goats, healthy numbers of goats are necessary to sustain a viable population of Caucasian Leopards in the Caucasus.
The video footage was recorded by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC), WLT’s conservation partner in Armenia, using camera-traps supplied by WLT.
Since 2012 WLT has been raising funds to expand the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge and to enhance wildlife protection measures through WLT’s Save the Caucasian Leopard Appeal.
Please support conservation measures in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge by donating to the appeal.