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Teberdinskiy Nature Reserve
On the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, the Teberdinskiy Nature Reserve is one of the oldest protected areas in these mountains and scenically one of the most beautiful.
It is an upland reserve, covering 85,000ha, almost all of which lies above 2,000m, and consists of many sharp ridges and deep valleys. There are large glaciers as well as mountain forests and alpine meadows and situated as it is in the upper reaches of the Teberda River, the reserve has numerous fast-flowing streams and rivers.
The area is important for breeding birds, with some highly restricted species present, and also lies on a migratory bottleneck where large numbers of raptors can be seen during passage periods.
 Notable Species
Breeding species include specialities of the area such as Caucasian Black Grouse and Caucasian Snowcock and these two species in particular are the main draw for the few Western birders that venture into these mountains. Other species of interest include Mountain Chiffchaff, Green Warbler, Caucasian Great Rosefinch, Red-fronted Serin and Kr├╝per's Nuthatch. Isabelline Wheatear and Guldenstadt's Redstart may also be present in this area and Grey-necked Bunting has been recorded. More widespread upland birds such as Wallcreeper and Alpine Accentor also occur. Raptors include Lammergeier and Griffon Vulture, Northern Goshawk, Golden Eagle and Peregrine Falcon. Steppe Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard and harriers occur on passage as well as good numbers of Eastern Imperial Eagle.
The extensive forests are good for woodpeckers and hold Black Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker, and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Owls of the area include Eurasian Eagle Owl, Tawny Owl and Tengmalm's Owl.
Birds you can see here include:
Black Stork, White Stork, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Black Vulture, Hen Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Northern Hobby, Peregrine Falcon, Caucasian Black Grouse, Caucasian Snowcock, Chukar Partridge, Common Moorhen, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Tengmalm's Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Eurasian Wryneck, Green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Horned Lark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tree Pipit, Water Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Common Dipper, Alpine Accentor, Eurasian Robin, Thrush Nightingale, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Guldenstadt's Redstart, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Wheatear, Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Green Warbler, Mountain Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Kr├╝per's Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Common Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Great Grey Shrike, Common Jay, Red-billed Chough, Alpine Chough, Northern Raven, Chaffinch, Brambling, Red-fronted Serin, European Goldfinch, Common Rosefinch, Caucasian Great Rosefinch, Common Crossbill, Common Bullfinch, Hawfinch, Lapland Bunting, Yellowhammer, Rock Bunting, Ortolan Bunting, Black-headed Bunting
 Other Wildlife
The mammal fauna of the Caucasus Mts is rich and varied and the Teberdinskiy Reserve has a thriving population of the European Bison or Wisent Bison bison in the forests as well as the West Caucasian Tur Capra caucasica and Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra on the higher rocky slopes. Other lare mammals include Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Red Deer Cervus elaphus and Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus and the introduced Sika Deer Cervus nippon.
Carnivores present in the reserve include members of the dog family such as Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and the Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides introduced from north-east Asia. In addition there is also Brown Bear Ursus arctos as well as Wildcat Felis silvestris and Lynx Felis lynx but a former resident the Leopard Panthera pardus is now probably extinct. Smaller carnivores include Otter Lutra lutra, Marbled Polecat Vormela peregusna, Badger Meles meles, Pine Marten Martes martes and Beech Marten Martes foina.
In addition there are various bats, shrews and rodents.
 Site Information
 History and Use
 Areas of Interest
 Access and Facilities
The ski resort of Dombay makes the best base from which to explore this part of the Caucasus. Hotel accommodation and campsites can be found here and English-speaking guides are available. There are also hotels in the town of Teberda. However, it is undoubtedly much easier to visit the Teberdinskiy Reserve with an organised birding tour.
 Contact Details
 External Links
Content and images originally posted by Steve