Source: Iran Daily; photos by Mahmod Sadeghi, Jame Jam
A section of Mand Protected Zone in Bushehr province of Iran was converted into Dayer-Nakhiloo National Park in 2008. This park includes the four islands of Tahmadoon, Khan, Nakhiloo and Ummol-Karam. Ummol-Karam Island,which extends over 70 hectares, and Nakhiloo Island are home to birds such as crab plover, egret, white swallow and rested terns, the Persian daily Hamshahri wrote.
Nakhiloo and Ummol-Karam, covering an area of 20,000 hectares, annually host tens of thousands of migratory birds from northern lands who arrive here to stay during winter.
They make their nest by digging a sizable pit for laying eggs. Late April, the island's landscape is transformed by the thousands of crab plovers laying eggs on the seashore. They seem like white stones from a distance.
The eggs hatch during July. Crab plovers and other migratory birds, which have spent winter here, leave the area in late August.
"The main enemies of these birds are human beings," said the deputy head of Department of Environment (DoE), Mohammad Baqer Nabavi.
"Illegal poachers have made a cement shelter at a depth of one meter near the seashore. They use this shelter for trapping birds of prey."
Asked whether DoE has proper facilities for protecting the island, particularly during the breeding season, he said DoE has shortage of facilities, manpower and experts for preserving this habitat.
"Jackals and foxes are natural enemies of these birds," he said. "Since these birds lay eggs on the seashore, tides also destroy the eggs and the chicks."
Nabavi noted that close to 100,000 migratory birds lay eggs here since it is secure and has abundant food, then they migrate to colder regions.
Hunting nets and human-made structures, which are used for trapping birds of prey, are major threats facing the bird species.
Ummol-Karam Island is also home to giant tortoises that come to the coast to lay eggs.
However, four LNG production units are to be launched in North Pars Gas Field at Tombak district, 10 km off Kangan in Bushehr province.
The executors of these units have purchased rural houses, evacuated them and started operations for jetty construction.
Oil projects have also been designed in other parts of the coastal area. Since the islands of Tahmadoon, Khan, Nakhiloo and Ummol-Karam are near Kangan, they will be damaged by the oil projects.
Experts fear jetty construction will cut the food chain of aquatics and lead to the death of migratory birds.
Although the jetty is important for the livelihood of local fishers, other structures that are environmentally compatible can be constructed.
Bushehr province covers an area of 23,191 sq km of dry land and 60 km of coastal area. The province, which is located in the south of Iran and to the north of the Persian Gulf, is of strategic and economic importance.
The main cities of this province are Bushehr, Tangestan (Ahram), Dashtestan (Borazjan), Dashti (Khormoj), Dayer, Deylam, Kangan and Genaveh.
Bushehr province can be divided into two parts: the plains and the mountainous regions. The former extends along the coast of the Persian Gulf, where most cities of this province as well as the inhabitants are settled. The other part comprises the two mountain ranges of "Gach Torsh" and "Nokand" that run parallel throughout the length of this province.
In the coastal region, the weather is warm and humid, and in the internal areas it is warm, dry and desert-like. Generally two specific seasons are prevalent, i.e., comparatively cool winters during the months of November to March, and the rest accounts for the hot, dry summer months. The autumn and spring seasons have short durations.
The average temperature ranges between 50 degree C in summer and 6 degree C in winter while the average annual temperature is 24 degree C. From late April to September end, for approximately 140 days, temperatures rise to more than 40 degree C.
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