Bird paradise of Iran in favorable condition

April 11, 2022 - 17:25

TEHRAN – Kani Barazan International Wetland, called the bird paradise of Iran, is in a favorable condition waiting for migratory birds, thanks to the good precipitation over the current water year which began on September 23, 2021.

Located in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, Kani Barazan, was once recorded as the first bird-sighting site in the country and birdwatchers call it Iran’s bird paradise.

Stretching to 907 hectares, Kani Barazan wetland is home to various bird species including, flamingo, little cormorant, great white pelican, stilt, sternidae, great crested grebe, graylag goose, lesser white-fronted goose, heron, common shelduck and etc.

Its high capabilities, diverse vegetation, and the annual migration of 200,000 species of birds have made this wetland a precious bird-watching site for nature lovers.

So far, 75 species of water birds belonging to 11 families have been identified in this wetland, which will reach more than 180 species counting terrestrial species.

Drought and lack of water rights caused the loss of 70 percent of the wetland, causing negative environmental effects with the beginning of the bird migration season.

In recent weeks, with the release of 2.5 million cubic meters of water from the Mahabad River, the wetland survived being wiped out, however, due to low rainfall, the wetland is still under threat.

Due to the favorable rainfall, it hosts 35,000 migratory birds these days, which has increased by more than 50 percent compared to the last 2 months, IRNA reported on Monday.

The water of this wetland is supplied from the Mahabad river, the spring of “Qarahdagh” village, the speed of water entry is in a good condition due to dredging.

The water volume of the international wetland has now reached about 10 to 12 million cubic meters due to the appropriate rainfall which is increased by about 50 percent compared to the same period last year, Mohsen Ma’arefpanah, director of Kani Barazan tourism services company, said.

Agricultural effluents and chemical fertilizers, entering the water body is a major threat to the wetland and its aquatic species and birds, he lamented.

However, an online monitoring system has been launched to measure water depth, oxygen level, temperature, pressure, and humidity of the wetland and send an online report to the Wetlands Office of the DOE, he added.

Unique birdwatching sites in Iran

Iran is decorated with impressive wetlands that hold a great share of aquatic and bird species and wildlife. Anzali wetland, Qeshm Island, Urmia Lake, and Miankaleh Peninsula are among the most important locations for bird watching in Iran.

Miankaleh International Wetland in Mazandaran, called the birdwatching paradise of Iran, stretches to a total area of 68,000 hectares, which is home to at least 130 species of migratory species with a population of 1.5 million.

Being an impressive bird-watching destination, the wetland displays a variety of bird species such as otters, all kinds of fish-eating ducks (common goldeneye and Mergus), pelicans, flamingos, cormorants, common pheasants, partridges, mute swan, tundra swan, and coots. Ashuradeh was introduced and registered as one of the world's first biosphere zones in 1975.

Gomishan wetland in Golestan province is home to over 20,000 water birds, and more than 20 species of birds, which supports three IUCN Red List vulnerable species of waterbirds, i.e., Pelecanus Crispus, Aythya nyroca, and Vanellus gregarious, as well as the vulnerable mammal Phoca (Pusa) caspica; it is also an important staging area for the fish subspecies Rutilus rutilus caspicas.

Located at the foot of the Zagros mountains in north-western Iran, Zarivar is a freshwater wetland hosting over 74 bird species, which is designated as a Ramsar Site.

The site provides a suitable breeding and resting place for birds and other wetland animals, and due to the relatively extensive reed beds, it is an important overwintering site for northern migratory birds.