In 1933 up to 200 unique tracks of a predator and herbivorous dinosaurs were discovered in Western Georgia, 260 km from Tbilisi, on the marl limestone. The venue is located on the 500 m above the sea level, in the humid subtropical climate zone, on the windy slopes of the western exposition (Black Sea winds). The annual precipitation here runs up to 2000 mm. Near dinosaur tracks there are several karst caves. Among them the joint length of the biggest of them amounts to several hundreds of meters and the height is 10 meters. Aiming at preservation of dinosaur tracks and caves, in 1935 a reserve was set up based on which a sanctuary was developed. The site preserves other than speleological, also geological, paleontological, zoological and botanical attractions.
The biggest part of the territory is covered by Colchis forests in the lower part of which dominate evergreen and deciduous species of plants and bushes. There are more than seventy species of plants at the sanctuary with the area of 3,5 sq. m. Three types of highest plants are endemic for the Caucasus and one – for Georgia. More than half of tree-plants are relicts of Tertiary period which is a rare case for the territories located in the likely latitudes. From the relicts the following species should be singled out: Caucasus hornbeam (Carpinus caucasica), Georgian oak (Quercus iberica), Eastern beech (Fagus orientalis), chestnut tree (Castanea sativa), Imereti buckthorn (Rhamnus imeretina), ordinary alder-tree (Alnus barbata), Colchis Bladdernut (Staphylea pinnata), mistletoe (Buxus colchica), et al. Mistletoe in the form of coppice creates taiga forest, the age of several of which attains a century.
There are more than 50 wildlife species of which the population of birds is noted for its variety. In the vicinity of the sanctuary there are many historical and archeological monuments. Among them should be mentioned ancient settlement of Vani, early Middle Age church of Ubisi, church Motsameta, Gelati Monastery Complex under protection of UNESCO, and Bagrat Cathedral.
Copyright © 2017. N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze
Copyright © 2017. “Dani” Publishing