The fauna in Armenia is very diverse, given the relatively small geographical size of the country. Due to the different habitats created by the mountainous terrain,
armenia is an important area for migratory animals, so about 350 different species of birds have been counted in the country.

However, here are 5 animals that are very rarely encountered.

1. Caucasian brown bear


Habitat: Caucasian brown bear or Syriac brown bear is a relatively small subspecies of brown bear, native to the Middle East and Caucasus Mountains. They are found in almost all of Armenia.

The Syrian brown bear weighs up to 250 kilograms (550 lb) and is between 101 and 140 cm (40-55 inches) long.
Often hikers report tracks of bears in the ground but sightings rarely occur. As with the other conspecifics, they hibernate

2. The Caucasian leopard


Habitat: If you are lucky enough to encounter one, it is likely to be in southern Armenia.

The Armenian highlands are a habitat for the endangered species of Persian or Caucasian leopards. The Caucasian leopard was quite common in Armenia.
Today, the king of Armenian mountains, the Caucasian leopard, is listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia (2010) and on the IUCN Red List with the status of "Critically Endangered" or "Endangered". In Armenia, the number of these animals is up to 10-20 individuals.
Worldwide there are only 500-600 Persian leopards left.

3. Indian crested porcupine


Habitat: Syunik province, Khosrov forest reserve, Artanish and Vayots Dzor province at an altitude of 550-1900 m above sea level. 

A rare species with very low populations. Like other porcupines, the Indian porcupine is nocturnal. Adults spend an average of 7 hours per night foraging. During the winter months, they avoid moonlight, which may be a strategy to avoid predators. However, in the summer months they do not avoid moonlight (probably because there are fewer dark hours in which to forage), but tend to stay near their burrows. 

4. Vipera darevskii


Habitat: The mountain ridges supporting Darevsky's viper have unique climate conditions. They compose the coldest and the most humid region of the Armenian Highland. Since the total known range is probably less than 100 square kilometers, with actual habitat limited to less than 10 square kilometers and overgrazed, the species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Hibernation for this species lasts six to seven months. It probably feeds primarily on small mammals such as mice and rats, as well as lizards and young birds, which it kills by venomous bite. 
The venom of Darevsky's viper, like that of all Vipera species, is hemotoxic; medical treatment with an adequate antivenin is necessary. If you want to learn more about the snakes, read our blog!

5. Eurasian wolf


Habitat: All of Armenia

According to the government, the wolf population has increased in recent years. According to reports, the number of wolves is between 500 and 700. The Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection also claims that wolves have become a threat to endangered species. 
Since they are usually very shy animals, you should rather not expect an encounter.