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Western Caucasus

Western Caucasus
Orekhovsky waterfall in Sochi
The Western Caucasus comprises the extreme western edge of the Caucasus Mountains, from the Black Sea to Mount Elbrus. Together with the Virgin Komi Forests, it is one of only two large mountain areas in Europe that has not experienced significant human impact. Its habitats are exceptionally varied for such a small area, ranging from lowlands to glaciers.

The area includes:
- Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve
- Sochi National Park
- Bolshoy Thach nature park
- the nature monuments of Buiny Ridge
- the headwaters of the River Tsitsa
- the Pshecha and Pshechashcha rivers

Fauna includes wolf, bear, lynx, wild boar and the reintroduced European bison which are globally endangered.


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Site info

Western Caucasus
Country: Russia
Inscribed: 1999
Natural Heritage
Criteria:  (9) (10)
Category: Natural landscape, Mountain

Site history:
2004Not approved
Extension not approved: recommends a comprehensive assessment of the Western Caucasus to identify all potential sites that may merit inclusion in a serial World Heritage site
1999 Inscribed
Reasons for inscription

Site links

Official website:
»Sochinsky National Park
»Caucasian Biopshere Reserve (in Russian)

In the news:
» Planned Road to 'Putin's Ski Resort' in Western Caucasus Worries UNESCO (27-10-2011).
» Russia Plans 2014 Olympics Road Through Western Caucasus World Heritage Site (30-05-2009).
» The bobsleigh and luge track for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as well as the Mountain Olympic Village will not be constructed in the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site 'Western Caucasus' as was first planned. (08-07-2008).

Related links:
» Sochi NP (in Russian).

Related Forum posts:
Not available

Getting there

This WHS has 6 location(s).


Tumuli .
Bears . Bovines . Critically endangered fauna species . Otters . Reintroduced Species . Significant Karst Features . Snow leopard . Turtles and tortoises .
Black Sea . Caucasus . Glaciers . On National Border .
Early Hominid Remains .
Cryptozoology .
WHS on Other Lists
Biodiversity hotspot . World Biosphere Reserves .
World Heritage Process
Extensions on Tentative List .

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