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Armenia has been identified as an important center for both wild and cultivated plants and is
one of the most vegetation specie-dense countries in the world-with more than 100 species
per square kilometer. In the Soviet period a genetic warehouse was maintained containing over
two hundred of the regions distinct grape species, but this facility has fallen into neglect and
Armenia's mountainous terrain creates numerous climate zones and microclimates, providing the
country with a biodiversity that belies its small area. For example, Armenia is home to over 365
bird species during the year, compared to 400-500 across the entire European continent. Armenia
provides an important passage and resting sites for migratory animals and birds. Furthermore,
Armenia is located in a region where many of the western world's domesticated plants and livestock
originated. The country is also home to the ancestor of the domesticated sheep, the mouflon, as
well as wild varieties of barley that were among the first to be domesticated in Mesopotamia. The
Armenian forests in the Northeast, around Jermuk and in the South of the country around Kapan,
are believed to be populated by wolves, lynxs and species of the Caucasian bear.
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