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Shidvar Island: A safe haven for the sea turtles

Source: Tehran Times

Shidvar Island, with an area of 80 hectares, lies southeast of Lavan Island in Hormuzgan Province. The island is one of the most important nesting sites of sea turtles in Iran, especially the Hawksbill Turtles. It was designated as a wildlife refuge in 1971. Due to its importance as a nesting site for migratory birds, the island was designated in 2000 as Iran's 20th international wetland.

Related Article: Shidvar Island Animal Habitat

The local name for Shidvar Island is Marou, which means "island with too many snakes". Viper is a snake species thriving on the island. Although no one lives on Shidvar Island, the adjacent island--Lavan, with an area of about 76 square kilometers--is notable because of its refinery, gas and oil exploitation and transportation infrastructure. On Shidvar Island, the nesting season for turtles begins in March and ends in June.


The eastern and northern beaches of the island are sandy and suitable for the nesting. The eastern part is smooth and flat, but the northern part has both gradient and less gradient beaches and is rocky in some places. The height of dunes in this part of the island averages two meters.

Because of poor rainfall, Shidvar's soil is mostly sandy. However, there are quite a few plant species on the island. The vegetation in the eastern and central areas is dense and therefore difficult to cross, though it is an important nesting site of turtles.

The main bird species nesting on Shidvar are the lesser crested tern, crested tern and bridled tern. The island is considered one of the most important breeding areas of migratory birds, which began laying eggs in June. The eastern beaches, with a length of one kilometer and the northern part, with a length of about two kilometers, are used by Hawksbill Turtles.

Moreover, there is no natural predators like wild animals. The seabed around Shidvar Island is covered with shells, starfish and other forms of marine life due to its shallow depth.

Waters around the island are known as an excellent place for hunting pearls since ancient times. A visit to Shidvar Island is only possible after taking official permission, since it is a protected area.

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