Touran Biosphere Reserve | The Africa of Iran


Touran Biosphere Reserve | The Africa of Iran

Touran (or Khar Touran) Biosphere reserve is located in southeast of Shahrud, of Semnan province and in the northern part of the Dasht-e Kavir. Covering an area of 1,464,992 hectares, it is the second largest biosphere reserve in the world. Touran Biosphere Reserve was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Touran is the second largest protected area in Iran and the second biosphere in the world after Serengeti in Africa.

Different parts of Khar Touran biosphere Reserve

Touran has 3 major parts: 8% of it belongs to the National Park, 17% belongs to the Wildlife and 75% belongs to the Protected Area.

Touran’s diversity in biome

In terms of biomes, it contains large plains, mountainous region, that some have 2000 meters height, and salt flats contiguous to Kavir-e Namak. A small part of its northern region falls within the Alborz Zone and the rest belongs to Central Iran. This diversity in geography and biome has made Touran the habitat of various flora and fauna.

Flora and fauna in Touran

In Touran 41 species of mammals, 42 reptiles, 167 birds and 2 amphibians live. It is also home for one of the largest populations of the critically endangered and most valuable large cats known as the Asiatic (Iranian) cheetah, which is now locally extinct in India. Iranian zebra is one the other important specie that lives in this area. In addition, 604 plant species are reported from the area.

Due to its exceptional characteristics, special flora and geographical location, Khar Touran has an ecosystem of various plants and animals and is the only biosphere in Iran with a complete ecologic pyramid. The diversity of animals that live in this area, attracts the attention of every nature lover.

* Written by Arefeh Firouzan.


Official Website: N/A Entrance fee: N/A
Wikipedia: Click here Name(s) in Persian: خار توران
UNESCO Website: Click here Public transportation availability: N/A
Province: Semnan Accommodation availability: N/A
Phone: N/A Facilities: N/A
Working days: All days Restaurant & Cafe availability: N/A
Opening hours: :N/ABest time to visit: All Seasons

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