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Photos: The Desert at Touran Biosphere Reserve

Photos by Khalil Khosrawani, Mehr News Agency; Information Source: UNESCO

These photos show the desert which is part of the Touran Biosphere Reserve located in the eastern part of Semnan province in Iran. This area offers spectacular sceneries and is known as Iran's Africa.

Touran Biosphere Reserve covers area 1,464,992 hectares. The Reserve presents a variety of habitats, including three extensive plains at different altitudes, varying from 700 to 1400 square meters, a saline river system, three mountain systems rising to a maximum of 2200 meters and 200000 hectares of sand including moving dunes, and a vast expanse of barren playa. This area was first established as a Protected Region in 1976, but because of importance of the area in having a high endemic plant species and large mammals especially presence of Acinonyx jubatus, Panthera pardus, Felis catus, F. margarita, Gazella subgutturosa, G. dorcas and Equus hemionus was listed as a Biosphere Reserve by Man and Biosphere Program (MAB) since 1977.

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Touran Biosphere Reserve is on the tentative list to be considered or for addition to UNESCO's World Heritage List. The World Heritage List currently includes 962 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. These include 745 cultural , 188 natural and 29 mixed properties in 157 States Parties. As of September 2012, 190 States Parties have ratified the World Heritage Convention.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

This area is gifted with a rich variety of endemic jlora like Astragatus Kavirensis, A. touranicus, A.ulothrix, Cousinia Mashhedensis, C. Lasiandra, Eremoschys, Hyoscamoides, Hymenocratorer Oxyyodontus and Iranian specific fauna like Deer and Zebra.

Satements of authenticity and/or integrity

This area has some endemic plant species e.g. Astragalus kavirensis, A.touranicus, A. ulothrix, Cousinia mashhedensis, C. lasiandra, Eremostachys hyoscamoides, Hymenocrater oxyodontus, and Persian unimal species, i.e. Gazella subgutturosa and Equus hemionus.

Enjoying a great variety of endemic flora, there exist some types of Iranian Fauna like zebra, ram, ewes as well as some predators like panther and wild cat. In North West of today Ghar village some remainings of a buried city has been excavated. The ancient ruins of Kharazm reveal that the area was populated during the first half of the 11th century of Islam. Discovering of industrial centers and impure metal alloys, handy files and metal forms in southern part of Touran all reveal some active copper mills. Discovered potteries in Khartouran and other findings prove that the history of the area dates back to Sasanid Era.

Comparison with other similar properties

Iran does not have an area with similar features.


... Payvand News - 01/14/13 ... --

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