European Wilderness Society

Pshav-Khevsureti national park in Georgia 

Georgia has different types of national parks in different regions. They vary from wetlands and valleys to high mountains in alpine region. In these parks there are variety of flora and fauna. From insects to eagles, there are many different species that is unique. One of them is parnasius apollo, in Georgian აპოლონი, (Apoloni) which is rare in the world and it is in the Georgia red book as well. Apollo can be found in high mountains of Georgia, in Phshav-Khevsureti national park. 

Pshav-Khevsureti National Park is located in one of the most attractive parts of Georgia. It is located in Dusheti Municipality, Eastern part of Georgia, on the North-Southern slopes of Kavkasioni Range. It unites: Asa, Arghuni, Andakistskali, Pshavi and Aragvi Valleys. It is distinguished with its interesting landscapes, unique plexogenics (Roshka Rocks, Tanie Lake) and Middle Ages cultural heritage: Shatili, Mutso, Ardoti, Khakhabo etc


Pshav-Khevsureti National Park is rich with flora. There are 1213 plant species, about 29.6% of Georgia’s flora is represented on park’s territory. Here is presented 259 endemic species. Visitors can see Primrose, Draba, Minuatria, Cerastium, etc. The species, that are spread in Pshav-Khevsureti National Park, are rare, for example: Heracleum, Jurinea, Dolichorhiza, Psephellus. 

Pshav-Khevsureti National Park is rich with endemic species. There are 7 groups: Trigonocaryum, Mandenovia, Symphyoloma, Agasyllis, Gadellia, Kemulariella, Pseudovesicaria. 

Some of species are located on National Park’s territory are Red List members. They have IUCN category and are vulnerable. These species are: Betula raddeana, Pseudovesicaria digitata, Quercus macranthera, Sorbus hajastanica, Trigonocaryum involucratum. 


Fauna is very diverse here as well. Visitors can find 55 types of mammals, 11 of them are in Red Book of Georgia. There can be found species like wild goat, east Caucasian tur, chamois, roe deer, wild boar, red deer, Eurasian otter, brown bear, golden jackal, wolf, Eurasian lynx.  

There you can find 132 species of birds, 15 of them are in Red Book of Georgia. 

The Apollo Butterfly (Parnassius apollo) in Georgia  

The Apollo butterfly, scientifically known as Parnassius apollo, is a striking and notable species found in the temperate mountain regions of Georgia, in Pshav-Khevsureti National Park. This butterfly is easily recognizable due to its large size and distinct wing patterns, which feature white wings adorned with black eyespots on the forewings and red or orange eyespots on the hindwings.   

Parnassius apollo L. ssp. loferensis fe 1 Lofer 2020-33354.jpg
Apollo Butterfly

In Georgia, it is found in alpine meadows and pastures, in altitudes ranging from 400 to 2300 meters above sea level, which provide the specific climatic conditions it needs: cold winters and sunny summers. The butterfly’s habitat selection is influenced by the availability of certain plants, such as stonecrops (Sedum species), which serve as food for its caterpillars.   

Protecting the Apollo butterfly involves preserving alpine meadows and pastures, which are rich in biodiversity. Conservation programs in Europe, including the LIFE Apollo2020 project, work towards habitat restoration, breeding, and public education to ensure the survival of this iconic butterfly. European wilderness society is one of the partners of the LIFE Apollo2020.  

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