Smart monitoring in Golestan National Park at final stage

February 5, 2021 - 15:31

TEHRAN – A project for smart monitoring of Golestan National Park, which started in 2019, is near completion and is scheduled to come on stream by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20).

Golestan, the oldest national park in Iran, is struggling with environmental issues such as wildfire, so the Department of Environment (DOE) with the help of the Ministry of Communications, is trying to promote electronic protection through technological advances.

Bordering the Caspian Sea, the national park is a unique refuge for wildlife that has been facing problems in recent years due to man-made damages.

Stretched to 87,402 hectares, it is home to one-seventh of Iran's plant species, one-third of all birds, and half of the country's mammals, hosting 1,350 plant species and 302 wildlife species. It has been listed as one of the top fifty ecosystems on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1930.

Some 135 billion rials (about $3.3 million) has been spent on the project so far, IRNA reported.

Using the Internet of Things, data are sent via smart cameras and detectors sensitive to some, dryness, and temperature installed at regions that are difficult to pass and are checked by a monitoring room in the national park.

Golestan National Park is facing the danger of wildfires every year. However, there is a lack of forces to patrol the protected areas, for example, only 40 rangers protect the entire area of the park, which does not correspond to the size of this habitat.

Wildlife species living in the area include Persian Leopard, Brown bear, jackal, Persian ibex, wolves, wild cat, Caspian Red deer, wild boar, gazelle, mountain goat, fox, and coyote. And plant species growing in the region consist of several endemic ones such as Alma saffron, Persian Ironwood.

In the past, the Asiatic cheetah also lived in the area of Mirzabaylu plain, but the last cheetah was seen in the area at least 40 years ago. Of course, in October 2014, a cheetah was observed in this plain, but no one could photograph it.

Weather in Golestan National Park varies from very humid to semi-arid with precipitation of less than 200 to 1000 mm. Temperatures in Golestan National Park vary from -25 degrees to +35 degrees depending on the different months of the year. The highest absolute temperature reported in the park was 42 C in the southeast of the park.

So far, 150 species of birds have been identified in Golestan National Park. Golden Eagle, eastern imperial eagle, saker falcon, falcon, and bearded vulture are among the endangered birds of the park. Other birds of Golestan National Park include common pheasants, shrikes, griffon vulture, rosy starling, typical warblers, wheatears, finches, and common blackbirds.

The park holds a share of 3 species of amphibians and 24 species of reptiles.


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