The area (about 764 ha) is located on the eastern slopes of Zangezur mountains. The elevation range occupied by area is from 1325 to 2457 m above sea level. The average slope steepness of the area is from 20˚ to 35˚. The area includes mixed oak-juniper woodlands and mountain steppes. Dominant vegetation among herbs are various grasses (Poa sp., Festuca sp., etc), and legumes (Astragallus sp., Onobrychis sp., etc.); among bushes are tragacanths (Astracantha sp.), rosehip (Rosa sp.), hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.); among trees are juniper (Juniperus polycarpos), oak (Quercus sp.), and maple (Acer iberica). The area is moderately warm and dry.
Description of butterfly diversity:
Number of butterfly species in the area – 78 (33% of total number of species in Armenia). There is one species included in IUCN Red List, 5 species included in European Red List, 4 species included in National Red Data Book. The species of national and international concern are:
Carcharodus lavatherae, Parnassius mnemosyne, Colias aurorina, Chazara briseis, Tomares romanovi, Pseudophilotes vicrama, Maculinea arion, Albulina alcedo, Kretania eurypilus.
The area is situated at the age of a big open-pit mine that is used for exploring copper and molybdenum ore. There is a livestock grazing in the area, since three villages are situated in close proximity of the area. The extension of the operational zone of the open pit might cause complete habitat destruction for such sensitive and locally distributed species as Carcharodus lavatherae, Parnassius mnemosyne, Tomares romanovi, Maculinea arion, Albulina alcedo, Kretania eurypilus. The grazing causes a consistent degradation of the topsoil layer at slopes; also it has a danger of reduction of the host plants of key species. The Hairstreak Tomares romanovi and the Large Blue Maculinea arion seem to be the most vulnerable species in this area. Both have restricted areas of distribution which is determined by range of host-plant for Tomares romanovi, and probably host-plant and host-ant species for Maculinea arion. Both of the species occur only in two patches within the Meghri district. The relatively small patches of their distribution make the species very sensitive towards habitat change, but meanwhile make their monitoring and protection relatively easy and cost-effective.
About 90% of the area are now included in the boundaries of Zangezur Biosphere Complex. However the villages still can use the area as a pasture. To secure conservation of the area it is important to manage the grazing. As it is hardly possible to provide alternative pasturelands in this area, the rotational schemes have to be considered. Development of ecotourism can support local inhabitants as well. During 2014 the butterfly watching trail "Gudemnis" was designated and the staff of National Park Arevik (now Zangezur Biosphere Complex) was trained in species identification and trail guiding. Also during 2014 the area was included into the Emerald Network.