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Flora and fauna

Flora

Georgia is very rich in flora. The relative stability of the climate in the past contributed to the preservation of the ancient elements of flora, relict and endemic plants (rhododendrons, boxwood, laurel, persimmon, etc...).

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Forests cover more than a third of the territory. Earlier, the Colchis lowland and most of the Iberian Basin was covered by forest. Now lowland forests of Colchis and Alazani valley are almost everywhere superseded by cultural spaces. Among the most common are broad-leaved trees (oak, hornbeam, chestnut, beech) and softwood (fir, spruce, pine). Extensive alpine meadows, extending from the top of the forest to 2800-3500 m. Barrens are largely supplanted by cultural spaces.

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Among the specific landscape areas of Georgia should be noted Colchis broad-leaved liana forest with evergreen trees and shrubs, as well as forests of Pitsundra pine in Adjara, Caucasian pine in the Borjomi Gorge, Eldar pine in eastern Georgia. About 200 thousands of Hectares of Colchis lowland are covered with swamps.

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Fauna

Fauna of Georgia is quite varied. The territory of Georgia is home to over 11,000 species of invertebrates, including nearly 9,150 arthropods (including more than 8230 species of insects). 84 species of freshwater fish are recorded, as well as 6 of introduced species. Amphibians are represented by 12 species. 52 species, belonging to the class of reptiles, include 3 species of turtles, 27 species of lizards and 23 species of snakes (including 3 species of snakes and 12 lizards - endemic of the Caucasus). 109 species of mammals live in Georgia.

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Ecosystem of Georgia includes large mammals such as bears, wolves, foxes, red deer, roe deer and wild boar. On the verge of extinction is the leopard, which was considered extinct in the Caucasus and newly discovered by Georgian zoologists in 2001. Striped hyena and sand gazelle are also on the verge of extinction. In the XX century Black Sea monk seal and the Caspian tiger became extinct, but new species were introduced such as raccoon (North America), raccoon dog (Far East).