A peek at three astonishing national parks in central Iran

TEHRAN, Nov. 09 (MNA) – In Iran, a whopping 30 national parks are scattered all over the country, each offering their unique blend of flora, fauna, heritage and natural beauty. Here we will take a look at three national parks located in central Isfahan province.

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 Department of the Environment (DOE) held supervision over 7,563,983 hectares of such areas. By the year 2003, the size of the DOE supervised areas reached 11,791,788.225 hectares.

National park is a designated part of Iran’s environment - including forests, rangelands, woodlands, prairies, water or mountains - that is an outstanding representation of Iranian nature. As such, it is brought under protection in order to permanently preserve its natural ecology and to create a suitable environment for the flourishing of wildlife and the growth of flora under natural conditions.

The national parks currently cover 1,649,771 hectares of the country’s area.

Protected areas also are significantly important natural resources due to its impact on wildlife breeding, preservation of plant life or its natural state. The total area of regions protected is 6,600,601 hectares.

A Wildlife refuge has natural habitats and special climate qualifications, which brought under protection in order to revive wild animals and is stretching to 3,524,181 hectares.

Kolah Ghazi National Park and Wildlife Refuge

Kolah Ghazi is located in the southeast of Isfahan, which was initially a protected area since 1967, while in 1995, 47,142 hectares of it were designated a national park and 3,227 hectares also have defined as a wildlife refuge.

Named after the strange shape of its highest peak, Kolah Ghazi is graced by a mountain formed with two large rocky cliffs with steep slopes that makes a view remotely similar to the hat worn by judges in a historical period in Iran.

A picture of Kolah Ghazi highest peak

The mountainous region encompasses a relatively vast plain called the White Desert. 

The park is home to a variety of plants, mammals, birds, and reptiles, some of which are highly valuable and some are at risk of extinction while others are under constant protection.

In the early 1370s (falling on 1991-2001), the park was home to Leopards which was estimated at 15, however, residential and industrial settlements encroaching the leopard’s habitat, as well as illegal hunting, has resulted in a reduction in the leopard population to 5 in less than a decade.

The dominant species of the region is a wild goat and the next species is black-tailed gazelle. According to the census conducted in the Iranian calendar year 1390 (March 2011-March 2012), about 1,551 black-tailed gazelle, 1,862 wild goats, and 58 urials were living in the area.

So far, 17 species of mammals, 44 species of birds, 17 reptile species and 1 amphibian species have been identified and recorded in Kolah Ghazi National Park.

Persian leopard, wildcat, caracal, hyena, common fox, small five-toed jerboa, porcupines, Persian jird are among the mammals identified in this national park.

The Green Arabian Toad is the only amphibian recognized in the national park.

A Caracal an endangered wild cat also called the desert’s black-ear

Qamishlou National Park and Wildlife Refuge

Located 45 kilometers southwest of Isfahan city, Qamishlou National Park is stretching to 29,886 hectares, and the wildlife refuge is covering 83,888 hectares of the area.

It is said to be the world’s oldest protected area as a Qajar prince declared the area off-limits for hunting and livestock grazing since 150 years ago, which was finally designated as a national park in 2007.

Due to the prevailing microclimate and the difference in altitude, the Qamishlou area can be divided into three large habitats, including, mountainous and snowy habitat, Mahouri hill habitat, lowland and steppe habitats.

This mountainous and snowy habitat includes highlands with steep snowy slopes and a breezy climate that includes grasslands, shrubs, and single pistachio and almond trees. Cold in winter and temperate in summer, the area is suitable for wild goats.

Mahouri hill habitat is located on low altitude having a moderate climate and suitable vegetation.

Lowland and steppe habitat is small and large plains lie between the mountains and seem separated, but they are interconnected. The plains are important in providing security for wildlife and its suitable ecological conditions are favorable for the gazelles, the most prominent lowland animal found in the plains. 

Some 371 plant species have so far been recorded in the area while being home to numerous animal species namely, wild goats, black-tailed gazelle and hyena.

Muteh Wildlife Refuge

With an area of about 205,000 hectares, Muteh Wildlife Refuge is situated at 95 kilometers northwest of Isfahan, which is home to over 478 species plants live along with various species of animals.


A group of goitered or black-tailed gazelles


Called the most important black-tailed gazelle habitat in the country, over 5,000 black-tailed gazelle are living in the region.

Muteh Wildlife Refuge is hosting 25 species of mammals, 88 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles and one amphibian species.

MNA/TT

News Code 152080

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