TEHRAN (Iran News) – A management plan for “Naybandan”, the country’s largest wildlife sanctuary in the eastern province of South Khorasan, has been approved.
Studies of the management plan of “Naybandan Wildlife Sanctuary” were conducted at Yazd University in 2017, which divides the area into 8 management zones, IRIB reported.
Naybandan, with an area of 1,516,994 hectares, is the largest wildlife sanctuary to safeguard the habitats native animals need to survive and thrive in Iran. It is known as the most important habitat of the Asiatic cheetah.
Held the highest population of Asiatic cheetahs, since 2006, Naybandan Wildlife Refuge was estimated to hold a share of at least 15 cheetahs.
The sanctuary has been under protection since [the Iranian calendar year] 1373 (March 1994–March 1995) but was designated as wildlife refuge 7 years later.
Naybandan Sanctuary is one of the most pristine and least conflicting habitats in the country in terms of domestic industries and livestock.
More than 200 plant species have been discovered in the area, some of which include wild almonds, bitter almonds, figs, tamarisk, haloxylon, Atraphaxis, mugwort, zygophyllum, ferula, and bitter apple.
Mammals like Asiatic cheetahs, Persian leopard, caracal, wild goat, jebeer gazelle, wild sheep, mouflon, ibex, Blanford’s fox, Rüppell’s fox are found in the sanctuary.
Iran has a high diversity of species due to geographical conditions, climatic diversity, huge water resources of the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf, and the Sea of Oman in the south.
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.
Currently, the supervised areas reached about 18.5 million hectares, including, 30 national parks, 170 protected areas, 45 wildlife refuges, and 37 national natural monuments.
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.