Astragalus schuschaensis: Red Data Book of Armenia

CR B 1 ab(i,ii,iii) + 2 ab(i,ii,iii)

Category. Critically endangered species. Endemic of Transcaucasia. Only one sub–population is known. The extent of occurrence and area of occupancy are less than 10 km2. The species is on the verge of extinction caused by the development of mining industry. It was included in the first edition of the Red Data Book of Armenia under Category 1: Endangered species. It is not included in the Annexes of CITES and that of the Bern Convention.

Description. Cespitose perennial stemless plant 3–12 cm, covered with bipartite hairs. Flower stalks numerous, thin, prostrate. Inflorescence dense. Bracts lanceolate, elongate–acutate, almost equal to calyx. Flag 21–24 mm long, yellow; carina violet. Legumes ovoid, compressed from the sides, almost equal to calyx.

Distribution. In Armenia it grows in Sevan floristic region (surroundings of the village Sotk). AOO is 4 km2, the number of locations is 1. Besides Armenia the species grows in area of Shushi city in Nagorno Karabagh Republic.

Ecological, biological and phytocoenological peculiarities. Grows in upper mountain belt, at the altitude of 2100–2200 meters above sea level, on rocks and screes. Flowering in June, fruiting in July.

Limiting factors. Restricted extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, loss/degradation of habitats caused by the development of mining industry.

Conservation actions. Grows in the buffer zone of "Sevan" National Park. Necessary: monitoring of the population state.

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