TEHRAN (Iran News) – Some 182 forest reserves with an area of 410,000 hectares were identified and registered across the country over the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), according to a recent report by the Forests, Rangelands, and Watershed Management Organization.
Forest reserves are small biosphere reserves in which unique, rare, or endangered species live. These areas also have trees and shrubs of high genetic value.
Accordingly, the most desirable way to preserve these species is to protect them in their natural habitats. Therefore, the management of forest reserves with the process of identification, delimitation, and preparation of conservation plans is among the important measures that should be on the agenda.
The Forest Organization has reported that from 1993 to 2020, a total of 347 forest reserves with an area of over 409,000 hectares were registered, but last year 182 forest reserves with an area of 410,000 hectares were identified, which has grown by 107 percent.
Iran’s biosphere reserves
Iran is a vast country with a wide range of biodiversity and natural resources, with 13 biosphere reserves named Golestan, Miankaleh, Arasbaran, Urmia, Arjan and Parishan, Geno, Hara, Hamoon, Dena, Tange Sayad, Sabzkooh, Turan, Kavir and Kopet Dagh has been registered in the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Program, he explained.
Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine, and coastal ecosystems. Each site promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. There are currently 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including 21 transboundary sites.
The Golestan Biosphere Reserve is located in the north of Iran and forms part of the Caucaso-Iranian highlands, situated between the sub-humid and semi-arid Caspian regions. A wide variety of habitats and rich biodiversity can be found in the reserve, including 150 bird species, 54 species of reptiles and amphibians, 8 species of huge carnivores such as the leopard and brown bear, and more than 1,366 plant species.
Dena Biosphere Reserve is located in the Central Zagros Mountains of Iran, with a general slope of more than 60 percent. Dena is also home to a vast range of plant species and several endangered and endemic mammal species. Oak species dominate the highlands, while pistachio and almond are common at lower elevations.
Iran home to over 31,000 animal species
According to the latest studies, about 1,300 species of vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and aquatic fish, about 30,000 species of invertebrates, and 8,000 species of plants have been identified in the country.
To preserve the existing biodiversity over the wide geographic expanse of Iran, four types of areas have been designated for preservation and protection, including, national parks, wildlife refuges, protected areas, and natural national monuments. In 1997, the DOE held supervision over 7,563,983 hectares of such areas. The supervised areas currently reached 18.5 million hectares.