Lake Sevan.06/07/93; Gegharquniq Province; 490,231 ha; 40°24'N 045°17'E. National Park, Ornithological Preserve, State Sanctuary. One of the largest freshwater, alpine wetlands in the world, Sevan lies at 1,900m asl and is surrounded by mountains. The Ramsar Site incorporates the entire hydrological system of the lake including its watershed, tributaries and outflow. About 1,600 plant species have been recorded, including rare and endemic species. The site is important for numerous species of nesting and staging waterbirds, several of which are endangered in Armenia. About 16% (about 4000 pairs) of the global population of Armenian Gull (Larus armenicus) uses the site for breeding. Other fauna present include 39 mammal, four amphibian, 18 reptile and six fish species. The lake is of paramount importance as a drinking water supply for Yerevan and is used for energy production, agriculture, industry, and recreation. Water loss is the most important threat to the site, and a project has been implemented since 2001 through which the water level has been artificially increased by 3m. However, large forested areas are waterlogged and submerged wood increases organic pollution of water. Fish stocks have decreased so that further commercial fishery (except for Crucian Carp and Crayfish) is questionable. Due to the lake's importance for the socio-economic growth of the country, the restoration of its ecological balance, its water quality and its biological resources is one of Armenia's priority goals. A management plan is being implemented for the period of 2007-2011. Ramsar site no. 620. Most recent RIS information: 2011.