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Location Iran, Islamic Republic of, Gilan
Central coordinates 48o 50.00' East  38o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2
Area 949 ha
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Site description A small area of swampy woodland and freshwater marshes adjacent to the Caspian beach c.10 km south of Astara. The site is bordered to the west by the main coast road from Astara to Bandar Anzali. The narrow coastal plain comprises a series of old beach ridges, with swampy woodland dominated by Alnus, permanent pools with extensive stands of Juncus in the depressions, and scrub on high ground. Land ownership is public.

Key Biodiversity See box for key species. A pair of Haliaeetus albicilla bred in the area in the 1970s, and may still do so. The wetlands support small numbers of waterfowl in winter, for example Egretta garzetta (120), while the adjacent beach occasionally holds substantial numbers of shorebirds for short periods during migration. Situated on the west coast of the Caspian, at a point where the coastal plain is almost at its narrowest, the site lies in a bird migration corridor, and is thus an excellent locality for observing migration. Large numbers of herons and egrets have been observed migrating south over the site and adjacent Caspian Sea in autumn (including 1,320 in a single day in September), while a wide variety of migrant landbirds occur in the woodlands and marshes. At least 167 species have been recorded in the reserve.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides passage  1977  360 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea passage  1977  340 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea passage  1977  520 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Pygmy Cormorant Microcarbo pygmaeus winter  1970-1977  146 individuals  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lavandavil Wildlife Refuge 949 is identical to site 949  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   major
Wetlands (inland)   major
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by Dr D. A. Scott, reviewed by Dept of Environment.

References Scott (1976a).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lavandavil Wildlife Refuge. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife