Plan Prepared to Manage Iran’s Largest Wildlife Sanctuary

TEHRAN – A management plan for “Naybandan”, the country’s largest wildlife sanctuary in the eastern province of South Khorasan, has been approved.

Studies of the “Naybandan Wildlife Sanctuary” management plan were conducted at the University of Yazd 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 protect the habitats native animals need to survive and thrive in Iran. It is known as the most important habitat of the Asian cheetah.

Holding the largest population of Asiatic cheetahs, as of 2006 the Naybandan Wildlife Refuge is 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 a wildlife refuge 7 years later.

Mammals like Asiatic cheetahs, Persian leopard, caracal, wild goat, jebeer gazelle, mouflon and ibex are found in the sanctuary.

Naybandan Sanctuary is one of the most pristine and least conflicted habitats in the country in terms of national industries and livestock.

Over 200 plant species have been discovered in the region, some of which include wild almond, bitter almond, fig, tamarisk, haloxylon, atraphaxia, mugwort, zygophyllum, ferula and bitter apple.

Mammals like Asiatic cheetah, 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 from the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea in the south.

To preserve the existing biodiversity across the vast geographical expanse of Iran, four types of areas have been designated for preservation and protection, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas, and national natural monuments. In 1997, the DOE supervised 7,563,983 hectares of these areas.

Currently, the monitored areas reach approximately 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 fishes, about 30,000 species of invertebrates and 8,000 species of plants have been identified in the country.

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